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Quad-Citizens of the Year keep healing, helping the Quad-Cities
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Quad-Citizen of the Year

Quad-Citizens of the Year keep healing, helping the Quad-Cities

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The title of Quad-Citizen of the Year has made a difference in the lives of Quad-Citians who make a difference for others. 

Three Quad-Citizens of the Year gathered Wednesday at IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, Moline, for photos and congratulations from Melissa Brown, marketing manager for IHMVCU.

"The whole idea was to shed some light on everyday people doing extraordinary things," Brown said. "They are the quiet heroes. We had no idea what strides they are making in the community."

"It is a pleasant surprise to see first-hand the impact individuals have on their neighborhood, their community, their circle, and how they do it without fanfare," said Quad-City Times Publisher Debbie Anselm.

An artist who shares a studio with her daughter Rose at Bucktown Center for the Arts, Davenport, Gwen Ballard Patton plays the cello and the piano. She teaches piano to at-risk children and some adults at the Second Baptist Church Outreach Music & Arts Academy in Rock Island.

After her nomination, she has received feedback from other members of the community interested in the arts, she said.

Maddie Vinson, a student at Central DeWitt High School, was nominated for Quad-Citizen of the Year by her mom, Andrea Vinson, of DeWitt. Maddie has been a "best buddy" for Special Olympics since eighth grade, and she is passionate about inclusion.

She said her teachers and other members of the community have congratulated her on the award.

Michele Allison is proprietor of the horses and program at Juan Diez Rancheros, Davenport, helping children who have experienced trauma and loss. Many parents have reached out to her after her nomination, she said. "I knew the need was there," she said.

The Quad-Citizen of the Year Award is a partnership between the Quad-City Times and IHMVCU to honor outstanding Quad-City area residents who go above and beyond for their community.

One finalist a month is chosen from a pool of nominees, and a final winner will be named at the end of the year. Finalists receive $250 from IHMVCU. To nominate, go to www.qctimes.com/contests.

In typical fashion, Maddie donated her money to the Toys for Tots campaign.

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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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