• Patricia Sims

Illinois Governor Recognizes Salvation Army Volunteer Following Tragic Dust Storm

Chicago, IL - Salvation Army volunteer Gary Spaulding, from the Springfield EDS team, was honored and recognized by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for his service during the I-55 dust storm that took place in the Divernon, Illinois area on Monday, May 1.

On that morning, tragedy struck when visibility on the roadway suddenly dropped to nearly zero. Over 70 vehicles were involved in multiple crashes, resulting in eight fatalities and over 30 people injured. Gary Spaulding and Salvation Army Chaplain Don Durbin weaved in and out of the wreckage to help first responders and victims of this large-scale accident.  

Gary has been dedicated to the disaster service ministry in Springfield, Illinois, for over four years. He is an excellent example of servant leadership. While Gary was honored to receive the award, he was also quick to give credit to the teamwork that took place. In particular, he mentioned Karol Young, who helped coordinate the serving of food for over 135 people that were either crash victims or first responders who were called to the scene. 

Gary and Salvation Army Major Jeff Eddy have built a strong disaster service team for Sangamon County and served in multiple events. Their commitment to our mission and ability to demonstrate #LoveBeyondDisasters is deeply appreciated.