Jean Wilson Receives Our First Wayne Smith Award

Jean Wilson will be our club’s first recipient of the Wayne Smith Medal at the annual meeting on Nov. 13th. She sets a high example of respect, understanding and humanitarian service for our club. Jean Oller Wilson has been and still is the heart of the Friendship Force of Northern Illinois. She is a 1984 founding member and the second club president. Jean has been incoming and outgoing exchange director numerous times and participated in more exchanges than anyone can count. Jean has also been secretary, newsletter editor, program and social chairs. Her skills as a Spanish teacher and translator are frequently used. She was honored by the senior center of Libertyville several years ago.

Jean compiled the booklets celebrating our 20th and 25th anniversaries; she also compiled and printed the exchange booklets for incoming and outgoing exchanges for many years. Last year Jean traveled with our Mystery Exchange. This year Jean has home hosted San Antonio and Rio de Janeiro exchanges. She is on the committee forming a new member mentoring system. Jean still recruits new members and brought five guests to our International Food Festival in September.

Most important, Jean has a heart as big as her smile! At age 84, Jean is a vibrant, joy-filled member who listens, laughs, shares, cares, helps and is a dear friend to everyone in the Friendship Force of Northern Illinois. Jean truly is a force of friendship. We love Jean Wilson and are proud and honored to present her the Wayne Smith Medal.

The donation given to the Friendship Force Legacy Fund in Jean’s honor both supports the vision of club founder, Wayne Smith, and honors the achievements of Jean Wilson in furthering the mission of the Friendship Force.