LAKE VILLA – At its November board meeting, One Hope United presented its Galaxy Award for outstanding teamwork to the Lake Villa Police Department.
Lake Villa Mayor James McDonald and Chief of Police Craig Somerville accepted the award on the department’s behalf, according to a news release.
This is the first time One Hope United has bestowed its Galaxy Award on an external team.
When presenting the award, Corey Dickson, who oversees One Hope United’s Lake Villa residential program, said it was appropriate to recognize the police department with the award because he views the police department as an extension of the campus team.
“For all that your guys and your ladies do for us – that your department does for us – we’re very appreciative,” Dickson said in the release.
One Hope United CEO Todd Schultz said that a sense of collaboration was present from his first meeting with Somerville. “We view this as a partnership, and we couldn’t be doing this without you,” he said.
The residential program in Lake Villa serves young men ages 9 to 18 in care of the state whose past traumas make it harder for them to succeed in a home-like setting. Therapists at the Lake Villa campus provide supervision and individualized treatment to help the youth address their symptoms and build their capacity for growth and essential life skills.
“They’re a part of this community, and that means we’re here to serve them, too,” Somerville said about the campus youth. He also recognized the work of the One Hope United staff, who are the first line of care for the youth. “These are the people that are the heroes here,” he said. “It’s a tough job.”
One Hope United is a private human service organization that has been investing in children and families for more than 120 years, offering a diverse array of programs, including early childhood education, foster care and adoption and community-based programs. Their team of more than 70 professionals serves more than 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida.
One Hope United Board Chairman Theresa Dear closed the event by thanking the mayor and chief on behalf of the board and inviting them to join the board for lunch. As part of the award, One Hope United provided lunch to the entire Lake Villa Police Department the following week.