QUINCY — The United Way of Adams County and the Rotary Club of Quincy recognized Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning as the recipient of its 24th annual Joe Bonansinga Community Service Award on Tuesday.
The award was named after Joe Bonansinga, the first recipient, who was known as “Mr. Quincy” for his years of community service and his desire to serve others.
Todd Lamison, who nominated Henning, said he has been with the Rotary Club for many years and has volunteered for the United Way and when he thinks of “Mr. Quincy,” he thinks of Henning because of how much he cares about Quincy and how hard he works to make it a better place.
“Joe stands out because he’s so involved with so many different organizations,” Lamison said. “He’s had the chance to work with youth with disabilities, he’s worked with the Boy Scouts of America, he’s obviously the fire chief (and) he doesn’t just go ahead and do community service as a side project. Community service is his life.”
Hennig, who could not be in attendance due to fire training exercises in Bloomington, said via a recorded message that he was honored and although he is retiring, the legacy of the Quincy community to give back will continue.
“What I’ve seen over the last year in particular is that the community likes to rally around causes and individuals and more importantly, the people that live in Quincy love and respect Quincy and want to give back to Quincy,” Hennig said.
Henning will be stepping down as chief of the Quincy Fire Department on July 15 in order to take a teaching position at Western Illinois University.
In addition to his service with the fire department, Henning has volunteered to the Boy Scouts of America for 40 years, Camp Callahan for over 35 years, Kiwanis for over 15 years and Exploring for over 35 years. He was formerly the president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and was named Fire Chief of the Year in 2019.
Other nominees this year were Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Roy Webb, Carlos Fernandez, Patty Douglas and Terry Anastas.