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Leitch presented with Tom Connor Award

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David Leitch was presented the 2011 Tom Connor Award for Volunteer Community Service on Friday.

Leitch, who is state representative from the 73rd District, was presented the award during the 36th Annual Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Thanksgiving Luncheon. More than 600 attended the event at the Embassy Suites and Riverfront Conference Center in East Peoria.

State Rep. David LeitchThe Tom Connor Award is presented each year "to a tri-county leader who has shown a long term commitment to this community, put forth time and effort to make this a better place to live and work, and is dedicated to seeing this community succeed in every way possible," the chamber said in a news release. West Point Financial sponsored the award.

The award is named for Tom Connor, whose real name was Emil Sepich Jr., a broadcaster with WEEK-TV who was also known for his volunteer efforts in the community. Past winners have included Dale Burklund in 2010, Tim Cassidy, Michel McCord, Wayne Baum, Rebekah Bourland, Sally Page and Ellen Foster.

Comments about Leitch when he was nominated for the award included "a dedicated public servant", "an elected official with the highest integrity and values who truly puts service above self", "a true asset to our community", and "an analytical, problem solver".

Leitch has served on numerous boards including: Big Brothers/Big Sisters Advisory Board, past president of the Heart of Illinois United Way, Hemophilia Center of Central and Northern Illinois, the Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Junior League of Peoria Advisory Board, and the Private Industry Council Board.

He currently serves on the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, the Public Building Commission, Rotary Club of Downtown Peoria, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

This year's community narrative was delivered by Ed Rapp, group president and chief financial officer of Caterpillar Inc. His presentation "Don't Take It for Granted: Your country, your community, your family" reminded attendees that this Thanksgiving is a time to not only celebrate everything we enjoy in our country, community and families, but to be mindful of our responsibilities to each.

Terry Best, vice president of programs and member services for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce says the Community Thanksgiving Luncheon, sponsored by CEFCU, "Is a long standing tradition that allows the business community to gather together at the beginning of the holiday season and to reflect upon all of the wonderful things that have happened in the past year. As the Chamber continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the event takes on special meaning as we thank our members for their long standing support."

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).