Bloomington, Atlanta Residents Named 2020 Philanthropists of the Year
To Be Honored at Philanthropy Celebration Nov. 19
BLOOMINGTON — Arthur and Camille Taylor of Bloomington and Susan Hoblit of Atlanta, all who have given generously of their time and talents to many local organizations, have been named the 2020 Philanthropists of the Year by the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation (IPCF). They will be honored during the Philanthropy Celebration at noon on Thursday, Nov. 19, via Zoom.
This year, the Community Foundation decided to begin awarding two Philanthropist awards – one for Bloomington-Normal and the other for outside the Twin Cities (other parts of McLean County, plus DeWitt, Logan and Livingston counties).
The criteria for the award are: outstanding civic responsibility through philanthropic efforts; serving in leadership roles, providing vision and the ability to involve others in philanthropic activity; and voluntary commitment of time and contributions of financial resources. Current IPCF board members and staff are not eligible to be nominated.
Arthur and Camille Taylor
The Taylors of Bloomington have done so much for our local community over many years working tirelessly as community leaders.
Both have been instrumental in fighting racism in the Twin Cities. Arthur has been actively working to increase communication and transparency between the community and the police through his work as immediate past chair and current member of the Public Safety and Community Relations Board, a civilian review board established by Bloomington’s City Council. Camille has a nearly 20-year involvement with Not in Our Town, whose mission is to stop hate, address bullying and make a safe, more inclusive community. The organization has worked within the communities of Bloomington and Normal to foster an appreciation of all marginalized groups, raise awareness and work for social justice. Camille is Co-Chair of the NIOT Steering Committee and Not in Our Schools, which she helped launch in 2015.
Both Taylors have worked tirelessly on improving race relations locally, leading trainings, serving on panels, attending workshops and presenting on the topic to various social groups. Arthur has been called a “social justice warrior”; Camille has a passion for equality and celebrating diversity.
Arthur retired in 2017 from State Farm Insurance Cos., where he worked in various positions as an Auto Claims Representative, Staff Assistant in Subrogation, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Claims Services, and as a manager over employees in 16 states. Prior to working at State Farm, Arthur had worked for 22 years at national retail chains including Sears, Target, Best Buy and Circuit City in sales and managerial capacities.
Camille retired in 2012 after 35 years with Normal Unit 5 School District, where she taught in the elementary and junior high levels as a self-contained and itinerant special education teacher, Positive Life Skills Teacher and an At-Risk Interventionist. Camille was a counselor during her last 12 years at Normal Community High School. While with Unit 5, she was president of the Unit 5 Education Association and chief negotiator for UFEA. She taught evening classes as an ISU non-tenured track faculty member in the Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction Departments.
Both are members, elders and past Deacons of First Christian Church in Bloomington, where Arthur was past congregation president and was named Honored Servant. Camille serves as greeter and works with children’s programs. They both are volunteers for the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. She also served as a consultant with the development of Illinois Prairie Community Foundation’s Youth Engaged in Philanthropy program.
Arthur served on the selection committee for the recently retired Bloomington Police Chief. He is the recipient of the Alpha Omicron Pi Outstanding Community Service Award. Camille is an active member of the McLean County League of Women Voters and has served on its board, as well as the board of The Baby Fold. She is a past board member of the YWCA, and chairs its Foundation Board and the WINGS Award program. Camille was named 2001 YWCA Woman of Distinction for Education and was inducted into the Illinois State University Division of Student Affairs Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame. She received the ISU College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award, League of Women Voters Diversity and Inclusion Award, and City of Bloomington’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award.
Hoblit of Atlanta demonstrates the traits of being a philanthropist, deeply benefiting her hometown of Atlanta, Logan County and all of Central Illinois.
She helped create and has been actively involved in the Endow Atlanta Fund at IPCF, which has provided thousands of dollars for local projects in Atlanta for the last 10 years. This fund has been a model for other rural development endowments and Hoblit has served as a willing spokesperson for how to revitalize rural small communities.
Hoblit currently serves as Chair of the Board of Lincoln College and has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children since 1998. She helped found the Baby Fold’s Festival of Trees and co-chaired the event from 1994-99. She served on the Baby Fold Board of Directors from 2000-08 and IPCF Board of Directors from 2010-2018, serving as President of the Board her last two years.
She was instrumental in re-starting the Atlanta Community Band and has continued to play in it for 29 years. Hoblit also started a flower planting group, The Flower Buds, which maintains 40 containers of flowers in downtown Atlanta each summer. She has given generously to Endow Atlanta and has created two endowed scholarships at Illinois State University and one at Lincoln College.
Hoblit comes from a long line of philanthropists. Her ancestors arrived in America in 1746 and came west to Illinois as pioneers, homesteading on a land grant in what would later become Logan County. Once Atlanta was established in 1853, the Hoblits served as bankers, farmers, carpenters and public service volunteers. In the 1940s, the Hoblit family established the Hoblit Seed Company, which served local farmers for more than 50 years. “It is my privilege to be the seventh generation of my family to live in and serve Atlanta,” she said.
A morning workshop for staff, board members and volunteers of nonprofits entitled “Building Resilience and Opportunities for Innovation” will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. Nov. 19 via Zoom. For more information or to register, visit www.ilprairiecf.org-celebrating-local-philanthropy, or IPCF at 309-662-4477.
About Illinois Prairie Community Foundation
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, now in its 22nd year, encourages and facilitates philanthropy in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties by connecting donors who care with causes that matter to them. The Foundation currently manages assets of $20 million in more than 170 funds including endowments and donor advised, fiscal sponsorship and scholarship funds. More information is available at www.ilprairiecf.org.
Michele Evans, Grants & Communications Director, 309-662-4477