By Stephanie Malench, Reporter
The Collinsville Community Collaboration (C3) between the City of Collinsville, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Collinsville Unit 10 School District held its 2nd annual awards ceremony on Thursday November 7. The event was held at the Gateway Convention Center with Councilwoman Donna Green as Emcee. The evening started with a dinner that included Code 3 Spices on the chicken and Old Herald Brewery’s Miner’s Coalsch beer in the sauce.
Seven different awards were given out. The first award presented was the Leader of Tomorrow Award from Collinsville Unit 10 Superintendent Dr. Brad Skertich to Collinsville High School student Brady O’Neill. Among the many qualities O’Neill possesses, he goes out of his way to make everyone at school feel equal and “bleeds purple”. His career goal is to become a special education teacher and return to Unit 10.
The Business Impact Award was presented to Collinsville Building and Loan by Collinsville Chamber Treasurer Kristine Schmitt. Collinsville Building and Loan has been in business for 134 years and is one of only 12 businesses from the New York Stock Exchange still in business. On the second Friday of every month two of their volunteers volunteer at the Collinsville Food Pantry in the morning.
Collinsvillle Fire Chief Kevin Edmond was scheduled to present the Firefighter of the Year Award but was ill so Mayor John Miller presented the honor to Steve Reed, B Shift Lieutenant. Reed said he was “humbled and blessed” to be chosen for the award based on his constant work training his men to be better than they were the shift before. Before coming to Collinsville, Reed worked for St. Louis EMS.
Police Chief Steve Evans presented the Police Officer of the Year Award to Brad Pickerel, a 10-year veteran of the Collinsville Police Department. Pickerel was one of four officers nominated and donates his time to Special Olympics.
The Stan Schaeffer Education Community Leadership Award was presented by Mayor Miller to Clay Smith, Athletic Director at Collinsville High School. Smith has previously won an award for Illinois Coach of the Year for Girls’ Soccer.
Old Herald Brewery and Distillery was the recipient of the Spirit of Tourism Award from Brett Stawar with the tourism bureau Great Rivers and Routes of Southwest Illinois. Owners Derik and Whitney Reiser were selected for the innovative work they have done with the repurposing of the Old Herald Newspaper building on Clay St. and branding their offerings after the paper. Seventy percent of customers come from outside of Collinsville.
The Old Herald is one of only two combination brewery/distillery establishments in the state of Illinois.
Miller presented the final award of the night, the Spirit of Excellence Award, to Code 3 Spice and Smokin’ On Main business partners Chris Bohnemeier and Mike Radosevich. Since the opening of Code 3 Spices seven years ago, the goal of the business has been to help others.
Their business model is built around supporting The Backstoppers Inc. and the Collinsville Food Pantry. All of the money raised during the Smokin’ on Main event also goes to these two groups.
The spices are now available all over the United States and around the world.