Originally Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012, 10:46 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 01, 2012, 10:12 am

East Moline dinner honors outstanding citizens

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Beatriz Brasel of East Moline was named Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of East Moline/Silvis.
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Deb and Larry Toppert of East Moline have been named East Moline Citizens of the Year for donating time, money, equipment and services to support projects in East Moline and the Quad-Cities.

Winners of East Moline's Citizen of the Year and Denny Jacobs Public Servant award, and Rotarian of the Year, will be honored at a Nov. 8 dinner at Short Hills Country Club, East Moline.

The Rotary Club of East Moline/Silvis named Bea Brasel as Rotarian of the Year, because she "has done a fantastic job in leading our club through some very challenging times," club president Jay Morrow said.

Ms. Brasel, who joined Rotary in 2002, has been the club's Youth Exchange Officer, hosted a foreign exchange student, served on several committees and held various executive leadership positions, and was club president for more than a year. She's currently club website coordinator.

A UTHS and WIU grad, Ms. Brasel is employed by WQPT and Western Illinois University, is on the East Moline Park Board, and has volunteered for Viva Quad-Cities and National Friends of Public Broadcasting.

She and her husband, Chris, live in East Moline, and have three children.

Harry Arvanis was named Denny Jacobs' Public Servant Award winner. A graduate of United Township High School, he taught and coached at the school for 37 years and received The Dispatch/Argus Master Teacher Award. He's a UT Booster Club supporter and is on the school board.

Mr. Arvanis was on the East Moline Park Board for many years and was involved in the creation of Empire Park. Since the East Moline Sports Complex opened, Mr. Arvanis has run the adult softball leagues and added the girls ASA teams to the program. He has umpired in Girls National Softball tournaments held in the Quad-Cities area in the past few years.

Deb and Larry Toppert have been named East Moline Citizens of the Year for donating time, money, equipment and services to support events in East Moline and the Quad-Cities. They work with neighborhood groups, schools and on city projects.

Ms. Toppert has been president of the Booster Club since 2008 and a member since 1998. She has served on the Illinois QC Chamber of Commerce board and WIU Alumni Council and Presidential Advisory Committee, and received the Geraldine Towner Business Woman of the Year award.

Mr. Toppert has been an OSHA authorized trainer, taught at Scott Community College and is a member of the East Moline Silvis Rotary Club. He was named Inventor of the Year by the Illinois SBA and received the Governor's Pollution Prevention award.

The couple lives in East Moline and has two daughters and two granddaughters.

The awards dinner begins Thursday, Nov. 8, with an open bar at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 7:45 p.m. The cost is $25 per person. For reservations, call the mayor's office at (309) 752-1599.