New Shining Light Outreach Ministry Bishop John Williams stands with County Board members (left to right) Erica Harris of Glen Carbon, Tom McRae of Bethalto, Gussie Glasper of Venice, Chrissy Dutton of Bethalto and David Michael of Highland. Harris, McRae and Dutton received the Humanitarian Award during the 23rd annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance.

VENICE — Madison County Board members were honored this week during the 23rd annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ceremony at the New Shining Light Outreach Ministry.

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County Board members Tom McCrae and Chrissy Dutton of Bethalto and Erica Harriss of Glen Carbon on Monday received Humanitarian Awards from New Shining Light. Bishop John Henry Williams presented them.

“Bishop Williams is an example to us all that one person can truly make a difference,” McRae said. “He is the one who is most deserving of awards and recognition for a ministry that has touched thousands of lives over the years.”

Dutton and Harriss both said they felt honored to receive such an award.

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New Shinning Light honored the three for their work as elected leaders. County Board member David Michael was the recipient of the 2019 humanitarian award

Williams said each has committed themselves to reaching out to help the less fortunate within Venice Township communities.

McRae serves on Madison County’s Park and Recreation Grants Committee, which presents communities with Park Enhancement Program (PEP) funding to improve parks throughout the county. Dutton and Harriss serve on the County Board’s Grants Committee, which approves Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding used to improve parks and services within communities.

“Bishop Williams and the members of New Shining Light put on a wonderful event in which we remembered and celebrated the work and legacy of Dr. King,” Dutton said. “The sanctuary was filled with a diverse crowd of people brought together with the common desire to love and serve others.”

Harriss said she is thankful to receive such an award.

“Thanks to Bishop Williams for caring and loving enough to organize events and opportunities which allow us to get involved serving others,” Harriss said. “He gives from his heart working hard to make changes in the community where he lives.”

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