Bethany for Children & Families to hold community celebration on Nov. 5

Local News

The 122-year-old nonprofit Bethany For Children & Families will hold its annual community celebration on Nov. 5 at the Stern Center, Rock Island.

Bethany for Children & Families — a private child welfare, mental health, community education, and social services provider — will celebrate outstanding Quad Citizens at their annual awards dinner on Friday, Nov. 5.

With the motto “Keeping children safe, strengthening families, and building healthy communities,” the agency serves over 9,000 children and families per year in 14 counties in and around the QC region. Originally known for providing foster care and adoption services to the region, Bethany has expanded to a total 24 programs and services with offices in Moline, Davenport, Maquoketa, Kewanee, Galesburg, and Carbon Cliff.

“Just like it has since 1899, Bethany continues to rely on the generosity of the Quad Cities region. We are grateful to partner with so many individuals, businesses, and organizations,” Bill Steinhauser, President/CEO, said in a Wednesday release from the group.

The River Bend Food Bank will receive the organization’s Community Champion of the Year award.

Bethany for Children & Families invites the public to its Community Celebration, a gathering that celebrates “ordinary” people who make extraordinary contributions to our region. This year’s award winners are:

  • Michael & Katy Berardi, Foster Family of the Year, with four children (nominated by Kristy Hutchison)
  • Daniel & Annie Tillberg, Adoptive Family of the Year, with seven children (nominated by Vicki Burke)
  • River Bend Food Bank, Community Champion of the Year (nominated by John Huber)
The Berardi family will be honored as Foster Family of the Year.

This annual awards dinner takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at The Stern Center, 1717 3rd Ave., Rock Island. Kirby Winn of ImpactLife will serve as Master of Ceremonies and Tina Eygabroad, adoptive parent and school social worker at Black Hawk Area Special Education District (BHASED), will give an address.

Presented by Modern Woodmen of America, other sponsors are American Bank & Trust, Eye Surgeons Associates, Kale Heating and Air Conditioning, and Rent QC. Tickets are complimentary but must be secured via RSVP at by Thursday, Oct. 21.

The Tillbergs will be honored as Adoptive Family of the Year.

Three new board members

Three new community members have recently joined the agency’s Board of Directors. The newly elected board members are Heather Deters of Equus Workforce Solutions; John Phillips, retired Rock Island city manager; and Eric Spriet, Vice President of Commercial Lending at American Bank & Trust.

They join Directors John “Omar” Bradley (Chair), Martha Burnham, Jay DeVrieze, Tom Kale, Audrie Martin, Linda Rudolph, John Schaaf, D.C., Joy Schmidt, and Patty Scott.

“Each new director has a unique background and diverse experiences that enables them to contribute to the agency’s Board of Directors and to the agency as a whole,” said board chair John (Omar) Bradley. “We are thrilled to welcome these dedicated leaders and thank each of them for serving the Quad Cities region.”

Additionally, an Honorary Board of Directors is comprised of community members who served on the Board for many years. They are Diane Christensen, Jim Hass, Kevin Koski, David Nuernberger, Carole Reid, Dr. Tim Schermer, Bill Tank, Jr., Hon. John D. Telleen, Ted Thoms, Tom Thoms, Brett Van, and Lance Willett.

For more information about the agency, visit or contact Jim Sanderlin at 309-736-6642 or

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