The Crawford County Community Foundation advisory board is pleased to announce that it has named Steve McGahey as the recipient of the 2016 Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropist Award. The Community Foundation presents the award in recognition of the outstanding philanthropic achievements of individuals, families or organizations in Crawford County. The board presented Steve with the award during the 2016 Crawford County Community Foundation Hometown Event.
Steve McGahey made Crawford County his place to live, work and thrive and is now giving back to his community through economic development, volunteerism and philanthropy. His desire to give back to his community is most visible through the organizations which he is involved in. Steve is the secretary/treasurer of the Crawford County Development Association board and has been a member of the CCDA for 18 years. He has served on the Palestine Development Association board since its inception 18 years ago. Steve is a member of the Robinson Area Chamber of Commerce board and served as board president from 1994-1996. Steve was also on the Illinois Chamber of Commerce board from 2000-2006. His involvement with these organizations has led to the development of at least three programs that are benefitting Crawford County and will continue to do so into the future. These programs are the Crawford County CEO Class, Leadership Crawford County and Crawford County Community Foundation.
Steve learned of the CEO program through Bob Schultz, an acquaintance from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. He quickly saw the value in bringing the program to Crawford County and worked with others to recruit investors and establish the Crawford County CEO class.
Leadership Crawford County is nine-month course that introduces its members about Crawford County, including the opportunities to volunteer and become involved with the community. The course includes team-building exercises, monthly activities and an individual project that addresses a community need. Leadership Crawford County is open to adults of all ages and from any community in Crawford County, which allows individuals to expand their professional network while becoming more active in community-based organizations.
The Palestine Development Association established a fund with Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation in 2011. Through that interaction, Steve became interested in the Community Foundation, its focus on rural philanthropy and its affiliate community foundation network. He took his interest in the Community Foundation to the Crawford County Development Association and after much discussion and planning, the board began recruiting members to serve on the Crawford County Community Foundation advisory board.
Steve doesn’t just make things happen during board meetings. He also volunteers his time for the enrichment of Crawford County. He has served with the Boy Scouts and the Lions, but volunteers for many other programs as well. Steve explains his approach to volunteerism: “This community has been so good to me and I think you have to give back to the community in return…I’ve been involved in Boy Scouts and I have taken on other commitments…I have always found volunteering fun and I like meeting people. It’s just a natural progression for me. You see something that you like and you get involved and it just grows.”