Community Award Recipient

Rosie Smith, BNAC Community Award Recipient BiographyThe 2020 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is being presented to Ms. Rosie Smith in the area of Physical and Mental Health.

Rosie Smith has been at the forefront of emphasizing the importance of breast cancer awareness for the women in McLean County.  She is a professional cosmetologist and hair stylist who has provided her services in the Bloomington-Normal area for the past twenty years. Since 2016, she developed the concept for Mamm & Glam and partnered with Pink Partners of the Community Cancer Center to bring the concept to fruition. 

Pink Partner is an area-wide initiative to educate women about health and to raise the mammography rate in our community. This annual event provides a night of lifestyle education seminars, shopping, makeovers and most importantly provides access to a variety of breast cancer screening providers in McLean County.  All of this is done for the goal of educating women about breast health and getting yearly Mammograms.  Plans are now underway for the fourth annual event to be held at the Community Cancer Center in May, 2020.

Ms. Smith is also the coordinator for the September 2020 Pray for the Cure which will be held at St John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Illinois.  Pray for the cure focuses on attending to the spiritual aspects of self-care and honors women and loved ones who are survivors, those who are battling the disease and those have succumbed to the disease.  She promotes and advocates for the participation of African Americans to increase the awareness in order to help lower incidents of cancer.

As an American Cancer Society certified volunteer instructor, Rosie has traveled and taught courses throughout the state for ACS’s Look Good Feel Good Program from 2017 to 2019.  This program’s objective was to educate women to manage their appearance concerns following breast cancer surgery.

In addition, Rosie has provided services to the following organizations:  Numerous food and clothing drives for churches local businesses, Safe Harbor, Festival of Trees, Discovery Learn Program.   She also donates her professional services to Kibler-Smith Memorial for special families in need in preparation for viewing services.

Rosie Smith is married to Kevin and has a son Kevin who resides in Naperville, Illinois.  When she is not working or volunteering, Ms. Smith can be found tending to her many gardens and developing floral arrangements for friends and family.

On behalf of the women of the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, it is our esteemed honor to present our 2020 Community Award for Physical and Mental Health to Ms. Rosie Smith and to thank her for supporting and giving her passion, her devotion and her leadership in breast health awareness to the McLean County community.

Allen S. Ware, BNAC Community Award Recipient BiographyThe 2020 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter Community Award is being presented to Mr. Allen S. Ware in the area of Economic Development.

When we think of Mr. Allen S. Ware, words like committed, empowering, and entrepreneurial come to mind.  Mr. Ware’s unwavering commitment to empowering and educating minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, has been a monumental asset to our community. 

Allen Ware graduated from Homer Chesting Technical School located in Decatur Illinois.   He was the FIRST African-American draftsman at General Electric located in Bloomington, Illinois.

Mr. Ware went on to become the FIRST African-American insurance salesman employed with Equitable Life, a national insurance company to sell in Central Illinois.   He became the FIRST African-American manager with Equitable Life Insurance Company in Central Illinois.  Throughout his career, he was recognized and rewarded for his hard work with several plaques, trips, certifications and becoming a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.  He received his CLU degree, an insurance designation in 1984. 

Allen Ware was also the FIRST African-American to serve as a McLean Country Board member.  In 1995, Allen Ware was the FIRST African American to Start a national major franchise in Central Illinois, the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.  He has been in business for over 23 years working to support his community.

For many years, Mr. Ware has ensured his staff is diversified, and he hired and trained a large number of African Americans when other tax businesses would not.  In most recent years, he has increased his ability to service the Hispanic clientele and has hired several Spanish speaking staff to assist during the busy tax season. 

Allen Ware has 3 locations in Bloomington, Illinois and two locations in Peoria, Illinois.  He is known for giving many young adults and college students their first job at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.  He has 16 employees and has adopted a daughter (Stephanie Morris) during the process of his career.  He is also a member of the National Associate of Tax Professionals.

Allen married the love of his life Carolyn Brown in 1963.  They have been married for over 56 years and have been blessed with 4 children:  Arlene Ware, Van Ware, of Bloomington, Dwayne Ware of Houston, Tx and Dr. Jermaine Ware and his wife Dr. Tawanna Ware of Indianapolis, Indiana.  They have been blessed with 7 grandchildren to cherish his legacy and his accomplishments.  He is also a long time active member at Wayman AME Church in Bloomington, Illinois.

Mr. Ware’s ability to establish an instant rapport with people, utilize his listening skills, and exercise his problem-solving abilities is why so many people say year after year NO ONE DOES MY TAXES but Mr. Ware.

It is our honor to present the 2020 Community Award for Economic Development to Mr. Allen S. Ware and to thank him for his investment and unwavering commitment to local programming and to being one of the FIRST in supporting the McLean County community.

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