The 2023 KILJ Humanitarian Awards go to Karen Brimhall and Philip Geiser. Station owner, Paul Dennison, and manager Kadie Johannson introduced the two recipients of this prestigious award. These special moments were captured on Generation Gap, a weekly program on KILJ, which you can find on our Spotify page. Each winner was given a special engraved award and a check for $1000 which they may donate to their favorite organization. Paul said that this was a really easy choice.
Karen spoke about the past 51 years of her life, which she has spent in Mt. Pleasant. She believes everyone should learn how to give back. Speaking of parents, she mentioned how children should be taught that special value. Karen then dove into her personal life. As the wife of long-time mayor, Steve Brimhall, it would be easy to go with the flow and follow what her husband does, fading into the background. That’s not Karen. She is involved in a multitude of volunteer organizations, even spending Christmas volunteering for the Festival of Lights. She listed off the volunteer organizations that individuals can get involved in to make a difference, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, P.E.O., T.T.T., church, and multiple others.
Her husband, Steve spoke kind words to his better half, highlighting that her favorite memories volunteering are the ones that she can help a family.
For Philip, he has certainly seen a different life than many. Working in Illinois as a teacher and then principal, it was difficult for him to get involved with the Mt. Pleasant community due to his long commute. After retiring, he settled down and got involved with Kiwanis. One major project they worked on this year was the support of nearly 60 kids this Christmas. Kiwanis provided close to $6,000 of needs for children and families that have fallen on hard times.
Philip believes that, in order to be true humanitarians, we must be proactive and look for ways to help. It is not enough to just sit back, but rather we should step up and always take the opportunity to help our neighbors.
Congratulations to the 2023 KILJ Humanitarian of the Year recipients, Karen Brimhall and Philip Geiser. We all ought to take a page out of their book and recognize the needs in the community and ask ourselves how we can help.