Editor's Note: In late December, we asked all of you readers to tell us you think should be named Libertyville's "Person of the Year." The response was amazing. Jeff McClurg received the most nominations. We plan to profile all of the nominees in the coming weeks. Today, we're starting with Jeff. Thank you, Jeff, for everything you do for Libertyville!
When Jeff McClurg learned that he'd received more than a dozen nominations in Libertyville Patch's unofficial "Person of the Year" contest, he was both surprised and humble about the honor.
Rather than boast about the nominations and why so many people chose him, McClurg turned the focus toward the other nominees "and so many people who weren't even mentioned."
"There are so many good people," said McClurg. "I would nominate the town of Libertyville as the 'Person of the Year.'"
Of the 14 nominations received for Libertyville's Person of the Year, McClurg received the most by far.
Kevin Hoffman described McClurg as "selfless and passionate in his service and his support of the community." Greg Franz said McClurg is "ubiquitous in his presence. Ever giving in his nature." Kara Drumke said McClurg is "giving, motivational, selfless, ethical … he deserves this honor and so much more."
"Everyone was really nice," said McClurg, who has lived in Libertyville with his wife, Kathryn, for 12 years. They have two children, Elizabeth and Cole. "(Kathryn) works full time so I can work part time and spend time with the kids."
He works part-time with Grace Lutheran Church. He used to serve on the board of MainStreet Libertyville and still helps out when needed. One night a month, he volunteers with Grace Lutheran Church at the local PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) site, at First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville. He serves on the board for the Libertyville Boys Club Football (and served as the board's president for a year) and is part of the Parent CATS group at Libertyville High School.
Reader Susan Rudolphi said this about McClurg: "I can't think of anyone who works harder to make Libertyville such a great place to live."
McClurg said a lot of credit goes to his family for letting him be so involved in the community and to the other people who volunteer their time.
"Libertyville itself has a pretty good volunteer spirit in it," said McClurg. "And I think it's just the way I was brought up. I'd see people in need and one of the things I learned along the way was to just help. Hopefully that's what we're handing down to our kids."
McClurg said he loves Libertyville.
"I couldn't be happier with the schools that my kids go to, the people they know. You get to know the mayor, you get to know the trustees, you know everyone in town," he said.
Volunteering his time, McClurg said, makes him love the community even more.
"Libertyville is even more of a community to me because when you're a part of it, you feel that," he said.
He enjoys seeing people happy. With the Libertyville Boys Club Football organization, he likes "seeing the kids running around and having fun." When he helps out around town, like with MainStreet Libertyville, he enjoys "seeing people walk through downtown, smiling and have a good time." And when he volunteers his time with PADS, McClurg said "if you see one person go from a negative to a positive outlook, then it was worth it."