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Do something great

Watch now: Honors for those who serve the community at the Do Something Great Awards

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 Natalie Beck honors the memory of Ray Batman

MOUNT ZION — Danielle Rubin Kater died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 30 in November 2020, then the youngest casualty of the virus in McLean County.

Known to family and friends as “Dani,” the Mount Zion High School graduate's death spurred her family to start the Dani Rubin Kater Memorial Fund, which provided COVID care kits through the Community Foundation of Macon County. An oximeter, which measures the oxygen level in a person's blood, is what alerted Kater to how serious her illness was. The care kits included two, three-ply masks, a pulse oximeter, a digital oral thermometer, a pill organizer, a Centers for Disease Control-approved surface cleaner, a symptom log and educational and reference materials, and were distributed through Crossing Healthcare.

Outstanding Young Philanthropist BJ Leonard. READ MORE HERE.

“Although we are devastated by our loss, the opportunity to provide kits for those diagnosed with COVID-19 will assist with the grieving process,” said Tina Rubin, Dani's mother.

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Bob and Tina Rubin and Tim Kater get a hug from Tony Holly after accepting the COVID-19 Hero Award during the 17th annual "Do Something Great" Awards on Tuesday at the Mount Zion Convention Center. Danielle Rubin Kater died of COVID-19, prompting the family to create a fund to provide COVID care kits to prevent other families from having to endure the loss of a loved one. Holly served as emcee for the event. Visit to see photos and video from the event.

Dani's parents, Bob and Tina Rubin, and her husband, Tim Kater, were recognized on Tuesday with the COVID-19 Hero Award, at the Do Something Great Awards hosted by the Community Foundation at the Mount Zion Convention Center, and received a standing ovation from the 185 people in attendance, representing almost every agency in the community.

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Bob and Tina Rubin and Tim Kater accept the COVID-19 Hero Award during the 17th annual "Do Something Great" Awards on Tuesday at the Mount Zion Convention Center. Tony Holly, director of Strategic Grantmaking, presented the awards. Visit to see photos and video from the event.

The annual Do Something Great Awards recognize people for their contributions to social and community service. Tuesday was National Non-Profit Day.

Outstanding volunteer award presented to John Mickler. READ MORE HERE. 

The Community Foundation's Non-Profit Professional Award was renamed this year in honor of Ray Batman, who died June 29 and with Fred Spannaus, was one of the founders of the Community Health Improvement Center, now known as Crossing Healthcare. The first recipient of the renamed award is Tanya Andricks, CEO of Crossing.

Ray Batman

“Crossing is here because of Ray,” Andricks said.

Batman was the first employee of Dove Inc.; served as director of Camp Walter Scott in Dieterich; came back to Decatur and served as Dove's finance director until appointed executive director in 1997, and served in that position until his retirement in 2011.

Award of Excellence for Inclusion awarded to Evelyn Hood. READ MORE HERE.

Andricks said Batman began making his mark in 1972, a tumultuous time in the community and the world, and things are tumultuous now as well. The young Ray Batman came to Decatur and found a need: low-income residents had little access to medical care and CHIC filled that void.

Outstanding volunteer Dr. Isaac Zuniga. READ MORE HERE.

“Ray did what he could where he was,” Andricks said.

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Tanya Andricks speaks after accepting the Nonprofit of the Year award during the 17th annual "Do Something Great" Awards on Tuesday at the Mount Zion Convention Center. The award was renamed this year in honor of Ray Batman, who left and indelible mark on the community.  

Other award recipients on Tuesday were Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois, the Outstanding Professional Partner award; Outstanding Young Philanthropist, the Rev. B.J. Leonard, associate pastor at First Christian Church; Outstanding Philanthropic Support of the Arts for Dr. Paul and Shirley Stanley; Outstanding Volunteer/Board Member, John Mickler, Jim Neff and Isaac Zuniga; the Robert and Bev Ketenbrink Community Commitment Award, James and Mary Comerford; the Award of Excellence for Inclusion, Evelyn Hood.

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Evelyn Hood accepts the Award of Excellence for Inclusion during the 17th annual "Do Something Great" Awards. 

Hood, the founder and director of the African-American Cultural and Genealogical Society, organized the first Juneteenth celebration in Decatur, years before it was commonly celebrated. Juneteenth is now a national holiday, as of this year.

Hood said she wanted to share her favorite sayings.

“Hard work is the key to success,” she said. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And love your neighbor as yourself.”

A mustard seed, she said, is one of the tiniest of seeds, but when planted and cared for can grow into a huge tree. Small service can have a lasting impact, she added

“Thank you and may God bless America,” she said.

“There's your emcee for next year,” said Tony Holly, the Community Foundation's director of grant-making who served as emcee this year.

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter


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