Steger Resident Receives Community Service Award from PSC

Michele Helsel
From left to right: PSC Trustee Cindy Somer, PSC President Dr. Eric Radtke, Michael R. Monteleone Community Service Award Winner Michele Helsel, and PSC Trustee Dr. Kathleen Doyle (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Steger resident Michele Helsel has worn many hats over the years including room mom, Girl Scout leader, little league president, and school board member. A mother of four children, Helsel has always volunteered in her community whether it was raising funds for a new playground, building a new school, or organizing the neighborhood watch.

For her dedication to the community, Helsel was awarded with the Prairie State College (PSC) Michael R. Monteleone Community Service Award. The award is given annually to a community member in the PSC district who has contributed in an extraordinary way to education through community service as either a volunteer or a community leader.

“Michele’s involvement in education and the community began in a seemingly routine manner, that is, being involved in the lives of her children,” said Anne Luering, who nominated Helsel on behalf of Steger School District 194. “Michele’s love for the Steger community and her volunteer experiences blossomed even further as her children became young adults.”

In addition to serving on numerous community boards, Helsel was instrumental in the planning, construction, and opening of Columbia Central School as well as the adjacent recreation fields used by students and the Steger Recreation program.

“Walking through the halls, her handprint is on every part of the (school) building,” said Luering. “These lucky children had Michele to thank for the school.”

Although Helsel’s children are now grown, she is still an active part of the community and schools. Sometimes it is as simple as hosting a foreign exchange student who can’t go home for the holidays or taking the special needs son of a friend on a “date.”

“If I didn’t have the support of my family or the people in my life, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do,” said Helsel. “It takes a community to make things happen, and I’m grateful for everyone’s support to make Steger a great place to live.”