Roll out the red carpet, and prepare for an onslaught of paparazzi! It's time to honor some stars of the Quad-Cities.|
It's the moment the world — or at least a few of its local citizens, we hope — has been waiting for: the introduction of the winners of the 2013 Argpatch Awards.
Loosely based on the Academy Awards and christened with a mashup of the names of your two favorite local newspapers, the Argpatches honor the people and things we love about the Quad-Cities.
We asked for nominations from readers in 11 categories, and the Academy of Non-Motion Picture Args and Patches — otherwise known as a group of Dispatch and Argus staffers — made the final decisions. The judges would like everyone to know that none of those decisions was easy, since all of the nominees were worthy.
Each person who submitted a nomination was entered into a drawing for a one-of-a-kind Argpatch Basket containing a plethora of premium prizes. It includes donations from Playcrafters Barn Theatre, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Countryside Community Theatre, the Figge Art Museum, the Putnam Museum, the Richmond Hill Players, New Ground Theatre, and, of course, The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
Two names were selected in the drawing, and the bountiful Argpatch Baskets will be awarded to Bev Wilt, of Rock Island, and Shenea Brockman, of Bettendorf.
And now (insert drum roll, please!), the 2013 Argpatch Awards go to:
-- Best Female in a Leading Role: Sherry Maurer, director of the Augustana College Art Museum
For 30 years as director of the art gallery that was transformed into the Augustana College Art Museum, Sherry Maurer has played a key role in providing "excellent educational, innovative and interdisciplinary art exhibitions and programs that have engaged the community," according to Diane von Dresky, president of the Rock Island Art Guild. In partnership with the guild, an outside professional each year has been brought in to provide a comprehensive juried visual art exhibition.
Armed with master's degrees in painting and art history from the University of Iowa, Ms. Maurer has worked with faculty, staff, artists, art historians, students, donors, lenders and volunteers to offer Augustana's art collection for view at no charge. She has overseen the collection's growth from 600 objects to more than 4,000, tripling the space to show more art, and diversifying the museum to include African objects, Inuit sculptures, and more.
Other nominees: Ametra Carroll, Cheri Bustos, Hillary Plog, Debra Morgan, Paula Sands.
— Best Male in a Leading Role: Bob "Mr. Thanksgiving" Vogelbaugh
Forty-two years ago — while closing up his local grocery store — Bob Vogelbaugh became "Mr. Thanksgiving" to Quad-Citians.
He had just finished a conversation with a customer who said she had no plans the next day to celebrate Thanksgiving. Mr. Vogelbaugh went to his store's back room, set a table for eight, penned plans for the next day's dinner, and set in motion an annual meal that now draws thousands every Thanksgiving.
The celebration has become so big that it takes up the food court each year at Moline's SouthPark Mall.
These days, that night of planning 42 years ago has become a year-round commitment by Mr. Vogelbaugh and a team of volunteers. It is said that Thanksgiving diners come from four counties in Illinois and two in Iowa to share the day.
Other nominees: Don Welvaert, David Levin.
— Best Animal: Viking Pups, including Oden, Bo, Zorn, and Cami
Nominator Mary Kiolbasa wrote: "The Viking Pups are service and facility dogs in training on Augustana College's campus. The dogs will spend their lives helping their future owners, giving them independence and changing their lives for the better.
"While in training, the dogs do therapy events to help people, such as visiting special-education centers, giving presentations to educate children about service dogs, and even more. On a daily basis, these dogs go to college classes with their handlers and do daily training sessions to learn their commands, all while brightening the days of everyone who sees them, including professors and other students.
"They are some of the most amazing dogs with amazing jobs of helping others, and they do it with great joy and love."
Other nominees: Henry at Green's, Geneseo police dog Bobby, Rascal of the River Bandits.
— Best Artist: Heidi Sallows
Walls of area businesses are typically the canvas for 35-year-old artist Heidi Sallows of Moline. A Port Byron native and graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ms. Sallows has painted brilliant, eye-catching murals throughout the Quad-Cities.
Her work can be seen at Downtown Central Perk in Davenport, 11th Street Precinct Bar & Grill in the Village of East Davenport, Smokehouse BBQ in Silvis, Habanero's and Los Agaves in Moline, and Azteca in Davenport. She is working on a new one at Against the Grain in Rock Island.
Other nominees: Lisse Goodpasture, Bruce Walters.
— Best Live Action in Sports: The Red Dress Run
The Quad Cities Hash House Harriers group raises money for the American Heart Association with its annual Red Dress Hash Run. The self-proclaimed "drinking group with a running problem" has hosted the fun-filled event for the past few years. Runners of all ability levels, male and female, are invited to run through the streets of The District in Rock Island while wearing red dresses.
For more information about the group and its event, visit qch3.com.
Other nominees: QC Ducks, Bix 7.
— Best Live Action in Entertainment: Quad City Symphony Orchestra's Riverfront Pops
For 30 years, the QCSO has provided an ideal farewell to summer each September in Davenport's LeClaire Park, on the beautiful banks of the Mississippi River. The outdoor concert attracts thousands of music lovers and picnickers to the picturesque park.
Last year's Pops featured a glorious tribute to the '70s supergroup ABBA. Every year, the fun concert is capped off with "Stars and Stripes Forever," the 1812 Overture, and fireworks.
Other nominees: "Smoky Joe's Cafe" at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, Genesius Guild, Rascal Flatts concert at i wireless Center.
— Best Original Store: Winnie's Wishes Resale Shop & More
Winnie's Resale Shop & More opened in the fall of 2011 to fund the Winnie's Place shelter for homeless women and female victims of domestic violence. Operated by Churches United of the Quad-City Area, the shop offers clothes and more at 902 E. River Drive, Davenport.
For more information, call (563) 323-5007 or visit winnieswishes.com.
Other nominees: Ruby Slipper, Green Family Hyundai, Indigo, Wolf Ridge Gardens of Geneseo, Bling Bling Sisters.
— Best Sound: Ellis Kell
Ellis Kell is a Quad-Cities musical legend who has graced stages locally and nationally for 35 years. He has opened for such legendary acts such as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, Tower of Power, Jimmy Rogers, Little Feat, and Johnny and Edgar Winter. He also has performed as a backing musician for Bo Diddley and Charlie Musselwhite.
Mr. Kell, an accomplished guitarist and harmonica player, is a director at Davenport's River Music Experience (rivermusicexperience.org), and has been on the RME management team since the venue opened in June 2004.
Other nominees: Kevin Carton of Minus 6, Manny Lopez
— Best Menu: Gendler's/Black Ram, Rock Island
After nearly $700,000 in renovations at the site of the old R.T.'s Italian Village, 1407 30th St., Rock Island, this wine shop and restaurant opened last August, and recently held the first of a new monthly series of wine dinners.
Nominator Colleen Moran wrote: "The shrimp cocktail is wonderful. Served in a beautiful glass, the shrimp rests on a pile of seasoned coleslaw. So good! ... Lots of sandwiches, including two original Italian Village recipes. Done to perfection. ... The prime rib is out of this world. ... Can I forget the soups? No. All homemade. ... Finally, desserts — tiramisu, large enough to share with two to four people — the best in town."
Other nominees: Le Figaro, Faithful Pilot, Twenty, Arthur's, PK Dugan's
— Best Drink, Alcoholic: Blue Cat Brew Pub's Irish Coffee, Bloody Mary
Although the Rock Island brew pub is known for its selection of craft beers, its cocktails carried the day for this year's Argpatch Awards. Blue Cat received separate nominations for two different drinks: its Bloody Mary and its Irish Coffee.
Other nominees: Mac's gin martini, Le Figaro cosmopolitan, Duck City summer mojitos.
— Best drink, Nonalcoholic: Four Daughters Coffee
Located in the indoor market at the Freight House Farmers' Market in Davenport, Four Daughters Coffee keeps market-goers refreshed all year long. The coffee stand received a number of nominations for its iced coffee, which is made with special coffee ice cubes that don't water down the coffee as they melt. Brilliant!
Other nominees: New Orleans-style coffee at RedBand Coffee Co., anything at Theo's, mocha latte at Cup a Joe.
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