• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on July 24, 2009
SUGAR GROVE – The latest recipient of Sugar Grove’s Citizen of the Year award isn’t a well-known community figure like some past winners.
“You guy probably won’t even know him until he comes up here,” Village President Sean Michels told onlookers Friday at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil before announcing this year’s winner.
But those who live in the same neighborhood as 2009 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year Jim Wilhem certainly are familiar with him. He’s the guy who helped them out after a large storm came through last summer, using crews from his business, J&S Construction, to help clear his neighbors’ lawns of trees and other debris.
“Some people help out a neighbor,” Michels said. “He came out and helped an entire neighborhood.”
Wilhem, a 22-year resident of Sugar Grove, lives with his wife, Stephanie, and four children. He said he was quite surprised with the honor.
“I had to idea that was coming,” Wilhem said, still chuckling at what happened while holding the plaque he plans on putting up on a wall at his home. “Not usually stuff like this gets by me. … I didn’t have a clue. They suckered me big time.”
Besides clearing debris after a big storm, Wilhem also assisted with the Little League field in Kaneville and past Corn Boils, as well as sponsoring extra light, energy, man power and heavy equipment.
He joins past winners such as Karen McCannon, Pat Graceffa, Joe Wolf and Karen Pritchard.