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UIS Good as Gold Award Recepeints

The University of Illinois Springfield, in partnership with the Junior League of Springfield and the United Way of Central Illinois, held the 15th annual Good as Gold Ceremony on April 24, 2023, in the UIS Student Union to recognize more than 50 volunteers, businesses, and organizations in Sangamon County. The ceremony has been held since 2008 to honor individuals and entities that devote their time and talents to make the county a better place to live.

Sister Ann Pitsenberger of Springfield received the 2023 Distinguished Volunteer Award. Pitsenberger, a Hospital Sister of St. Francis for over 70 years, has dedicated her service to others. She has worked with Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach as a volunteer since its establishment in 2002 and served as the first chair of the corporation’s board of directors. Pitsenberger has also served on the board of directors for HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Pregnancy Care Center of Springfield, and the Ronald McDonald House, and she was a coordinator for the HSHS Larry Mathews Mission Outreach Fellowship Program.

“When I finished my term on the board, I began working to secure donors for our various fundraising activities,” Sister Ann said. “I helped raise $76,000 in 2009. In 2018, that amount increased to $307,000. This organization has become one of the leading medical services and resource organizations in the U.S., serving over 95 countries.”

The Star Student Award was received by Emmanuelle Yakana, a senior public administration and political science major from Gabon, Central Africa. Yakana has volunteered with several organizations, including three international student organizations, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, and the student government association.

“The most important aspect of volunteering for me is doing everything with joy and doing it well,” Yakana said. “As you volunteer, you are not remunerated for it, yet you must give it your all, and you must do it well because it is out of your will that you decided to serve, and surely you will see the fruits of it.”

In addition to the individual awards, several businesses and organizations were also recognized for their contributions to the community. The Good as Gold Ceremony provides a wonderful opportunity to recognize the individuals, businesses, and organizations that are making a difference in Sangamon County. Through their volunteer work and philanthropic contributions, these honorees are helping to create a better future for all residents of the community. The full list of award recipients can be found at


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