Jeff Leidel has been named the recipient of the 22nd annual Gerald Turley Memorial Award by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Nomination letters for Leidel were received from seven organizations and businesses. Those nominating Leidel cited his involvement with the annual Greenville Memorial Day program, Greenville Graffiti Car Show, Comets Sports Boosters, Bond County Historical Society, and Greenville Bicentennial. He currently serves on the advisory boards for the DeMoulin Museum and the Bond County Independence Day Festival. Leidel’s voice has been heard for years as announcer of the Bond County Fair Parade and at local sporting events.
The former editor of the Greenville Advocate, Leidel was for decades a familiar face with his camera and pen in hand. His career began at WILY radio in Centralia in 1974 where he was program and news director. He joined the Greenville Advocate in 1979 as a sports writer and city editor. He was promoted to editor in 2003.
Joe Alstat, representing the GHS Athletic Department, nominated Leidel for his “countless hours to the Comets as an announcer, organizing and serving at the Homecoming cookout, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and countless other endeavors.” He also coached youth baseball and softball for 23 years.
Leidel’s promotion of Greenville through the newspaper was at the forefront of all the nominations.
In his letter, John Coleman of the Bond County Historical Society wrote, “He used his words to lead discussion, to lead understanding, to lead awareness, and lead support for countless issues and organizations. Jeff was always focused on the community and making Greenville a better place.”
Kevin Kaegy of the Bond County Genealogical Society wrote, “Jeff Leidel has been and will continue to be one of Greenville’s best promoters and cheerleaders.”
His previous honors include the 2014 Greenville Women’s Club Community Appreciation Award; Horace Mann Award from the Kaskaskia Division of the Illinois Principals Association as a “Friend of Education”; Media Award from the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association; and Bond County Shrine Club Gold Book Award. Leidel was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Association’s Hall of Fame (Media Division) in 2001.
The winner of the Gerald Turley Memorial Award is selected by a special committee of the Chamber of Commerce. Created in 1994 to honor a Greenville citizen who has demonstrated personal sacrifice, involvement, innovation, and community leadership to promote the success of Greenville, the award was named for Gerald Turley, a former mayor. The program honoring this year’s recipient will be held April 16 at the Greenville First Christian Church reception room.