An IAPA member is often nominated for this award by the staff and residents or clients with whom he or she works. The Award was founded in 1981, and was named after Dorene Oehler. She was believed to be the first full-time Activity Director in Illinois. Her career as an Activity Director spanned 16 years. Dorene was a pioneer in the Illinois Activity field. The annual Award is made to the activity professional who contributes in an outstanding way to the Activity profession.
Larry Madge Award
This Award is presented to an outstanding Illinois activity professional who has made contributions to the state and their local association. An IAPA member is often nominated by their local association. The award was founded in 1987. It was named after Larry Ver Steegh and Madge Schweinsberg. Both were founders and leaders of their local Activity organizations, as well as IAPA. Together and individually, they imparted leadership skills, and were advocates of Activity professionalism until their deaths. This award is given, in memory of Larry and Madge, to the Activity Professional who excels in these leadership qualities.
Administrator/Executive Director Award
Founded in 1988, this Award honors and recognizes the support and cooperation of an administrator or executive director who allows the Activity Department to be involved in local and state organizations. The award is presented to the supportive administrator or executive director whose essential encouragement is demonstrated in the building of an outstanding Activity program within the facility or agency.
Gayle Allen-Burket Scholarship
This Award was founded in 1995, and is named for Gayle Allen-Burket. She was a mentor to many activity professionals and a nationally known educator in the field of Activities. She served IAPA in numerous capacities, and completed a four-year term as President in 1994. Gayle began her career as an activity assistant and always encouraged activity assistants to take advantage of each educational opportunity. She recognized potential, and endeavored to mentor others to use their leadership skills. She was supportive and advocated professionalism through example. This scholarship to the IAPA Conference is given in honor of Gayle Allen-Burket, to the activity assistant who has demonstrated professionalism, quality and leadership as an activity professional.
This Award was founded in 1998 to honor and recognize the volunteers who unselfishly give themselves to enhance the quality of life for our residents/clients. A volunteer’s contribution to an activity program cannot be denied, for without friendly visitors, chaperones, clerical assistants, mentors, group leaders, manicurists, artists, readers, etc., our structured programs would fall short of what we dream they could be. This award is given to the volunteer who exemplifies care, compassion, and concern for residents/clients, and exhibits an outstanding commitment to enhancing their quality of life and the activity program.
Sally Robertson Scholarship
This Award is presented to an activity professional who would like to attend the annual IAPA conference, but needs financial assistance to do so. The scholarship was founded in 2014, and is named for Sally Robertson, who was a long time board member of IAPA who recognized the value of IAPA membership, the IAPA conference, and promoted it to others. The submission deadline for this award is July 1st to allow time for the board to contact the recipient so that they can make plans to attend.
Hand in Hand Award
This Award was founded in 1996, and is presented to a person that shows great support to IAPA by their involvement and encouragement. This award is given out at the Executive’s Board discretion.