Volunteering is the rent people pay to live in a community, so the saying goes.
We remember hearing this statement made more than once by Norman Faber (1934-2001), a long-time Princeton auto dealer and active community volunteer.
Faber provided a sterling example of what it means to give back to your community.
The Illinois State Senate, in a resolution passed 17 years ago, saluted Faber for not only being a successful businessman as owner of Faber Motors, but for his extensive involvement in clubs, service organizations, associations and boards that help to improve people’s lives.
Among his activities: Princeton Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, American Cancer Society, Gateway Services, the Heart Fund, Princeton Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, Bureau County United Way Board, Perry Memorial Hospital Board and Bureau County Tuberculosis Board.
Faber sang in the Bureau County Barbershoppers, and was thought well enough by the community to be named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Chamber and Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club.
To us, Faber epitomized what it means to be a volunteer.
Thankfully, his example lives on in 2018.
Today’s edition includes a section titled Hometown Heroes, in which 16 local and area volunteers are featured.
Some of them are older, while some of them are younger.
Some have volunteered for quite a while, while others are just getting their feet wet.
Some of them got involved of their own volition, while others were asked to step forward, and they did.
All play important roles in their respective groups, organizations and entities for which they volunteer.
And all share a belief that volunteering enriches their own lives as much, maybe even more so, than their actual volunteer work enriches others.
We’ve found other traits that volunteers share.
They have positive attitudes.
They are community-minded and future-oriented.
They are unselfish and altruistic — wanting to do good for the community while expecting nothing in return.
Such admirable qualities are worth recognizing in public — hence our annual Hometown Heroes section.
They’re also an inspiration to the rest of us who ought to get off our duffs a bit more often and do something for one or more of the many worthy causes that exist locally.
We are pleased to salute volunteers everywhere for all they do to improve the community.
If volunteerism is the rent one pays for living in a community, we’d say this year’s Hometown Heroes have paid their rent in full, and then some.
— Bureau County Republican Editorial Board