Crusader 2014 Spirit of Caring Recipients Honored

Crusader 2014 Spirit of Caring Recipients Honored


ROCKFORD, IL (OCTOBER 16, 2014) The Crusader Community Health Foundation announced the winners of the annual Spirit of Caring Awards at its 42nd anniversary event, Shake, Rattle & Roll held on October 17th at Giovanni’s. The event attended by more than 500 people also featured a 50’s themed dinner, 50’s theme music by Eddie B. Jazz, live and silent auction items, and a raffle.

The Crusader Community Health Foundation initiated the Spirit of Caring Awards in 1992 to honor special individuals and organizations in our community who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in caring for others. This year we added the Spirit-of-the-Future Award to honor persons 40 and younger for their caring efforts. Fourteen individuals and 6 organizations were nominated for the award by family and friends in recognition of their care and concern for others. Crusader Community Health presented the 23rd Annual Spirit of Caring Awards to: Rebecca Epperson, Allen Pang DDS & Charles Smith M.D. The Spirit-of-the-Future Award was given to Mariah Anast. The organization award went to the Junior League of Rockford.

REBECCA EPPERSON  Rebecca Epperson deeply cares for the well-being of this community and puts forth incredible effort to give back ten-fold. She encapsulates the United Way’s mantra of “Live United” being deeply involved with UW for the past six years including chair of the 2013-2014 campaign which raised $5.3 million. Rebecca gives of her time, talent and treasure serving on the boards of the OSF Saint Anthony Foundation, Rockford Symphony Orchestra and serves on the Transform Rockford Communication Team.

ALLEN PANG, DDS  After retiring from a successful private dental practice, Dr. Pang joined Crusader Community Health to treat the medically underserved children of Rockford with dental care and compassion for five years. The Winnebago County Dental Society, recognizing Dr. Pang’s “Service above Self”, awarded him the “Dr. Scott Erickson Memorial Caring Award”. He is a member of the Crusader Community Health Foundation Board, Past Potentate of Tebala Shrine Temple and served on the boards of Klehm Arboretum, Wesley Willows and Rosecance Home. His level of commitment is truly valued and worthy of recognition.

CHARLES SMITH MD  Following the suicide death of their daughter, Carrie, Dr. Charles Smith and his wife Bobbi, were moved into action and began a search for the cause of their daughter’s depression as well as possible solutions. Through networking among the mental health community they formed Group Hope, a free support system dedicated to improving the lives of those dealing with mental health issues. Thousands of meetings have been conducted throughout Rockford helping over 20,000 attendees having an impact on both individuals and the community.


MARIAH ANAST  Volunteerism was taught to Mariah early in life—even if you can’t give money, you can give time. Mariah has volunteered for many years with the Rockford Park District including Camp Sunshine, Burpee Museum, and the Therapeutic Recreation Team. She has a passion and compassion for people with disabilities helping with Wheelchair Basketball, Buddy Baseball and Art at the ARC. Mariah has demonstrated dedication, understanding, responsibility, volunteerism and genuine caring for others that reaps tremendous rewards for everyone involved.


JUNIOR LEAGUE OF ROCKFORD-Founded in 1930, the Junior League of Rockford, Inc. (JLR) is comprised of a diverse group of women who share a commitment to making our community a better place to live and work. Its mission is to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve the quality of life in our community by focusing on the education and welfare of women, children and families. The JLR has touched the lives of over 10 million people in the region through projects initiated by its membership.

The Cosmopolitan Club of Rockford was the recipient of the 2014 On The Bus Award  in celebration of a 20 year partnership with Crusader which established the Crusader/Cosmopolitan Diabetes Program benefitting thousands of area diabetic patients.

Crusader Community Health extends special thanks to its generous sponsors:

  • Zenith Sponsor – SwedishAmerican Health System
  • Pinnacle Sponsors – Rockford Health System, BMO Harris Bank, The Kjellstrom Foundation
  • Major Sponsors – Aqua-Aerobic System, Associated Bank, The Blazer Foundation, Furst Staffing, Meridian Health Plan, NEXUS Office Systems, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Pfizer Foundation, SAVANT Capital Management, Williams-Manny Insurance Group
  • Patron Plus Sponsor – Riverside Community Bank
  • Patron Sponsors – Alpha Controls, Viking Chemical, Alpine Bank
  • Benefactor Sponsors – Rockford Gastroenterology; Rockford Orthopedic, Liebovich, Rosecrance
  • Publicity Sponsors – Rockford Register Star, WTVO-TV, WNIU/WNIJ

The Crusader Community Health Foundation (CCHF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1985 to support the growth and development of Crusader Community Health. For more information contact the Crusader Community Health Foundation office at 815-490-1620 or visit