‘Unique individual’ named Herring Award winner

From the Register-Mail:

A local businessman described as “a unique individual” and known for his involvement in community causes is the recipient of the 2009 Thomas B. Herring Community Service Award. Guy Vitale, owner of G & M Distributors, learned he won the award at the 31st annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon on Monday at Best Western Prairie Inn.

Long-time Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees members and former Knox College professor Dr. D. Wayne Green won the award last year. As is the tradition, Green had the honor of introducing Vitale. Green said another tradition is that the name of the award recipient is kept secret, so he promised to talk about the winner without revealing the award recipient’s name until the end of the introduction…..

Vitale was recommended for the honor by attorney and fellow community activist Doug Mustain.
“It means a lot to be recognized by the people of my hometown,” Vitale said upon accepting the award.

He said some rare individuals are born with vision. Vitale said he was not one of those.

“My vision pretty much came from the community I am living in,” he said. Vitale said he has been able to succeed because of the complete support from Galesburg.

He spoke of his grandfather, who emigrated from Europe and sold fruit door-to-door.

“My father came from Chicago to attend Knox College,” Vitale said, noting that his mother also graduated from Knox.

He said he has had a lot of help along the way, from his teachers in District 205, “as well as many friends who helped me a lot to see what is important. … This award would only be possible in my case with the help” of all those people.