And now, Chad Pregracke is the CNN hero of the year.
Sunday night Chad was finally able to sit down and enjoy
that honor with the community that helped vote him in.
It was a thank you.
A thank you from Chad Pregracke to his supporters, for
helping him win CNN hero.
And a thank you from the Quad City community to Pregracke,
for inspiring them for all these years.
"Chad Pregracke came to my 5th grade class and he
planted a seed. I don't think I would be
as involved with the environment if he didn't come that day," said Maria
Ontiveros, attending the event.
it started with a dream, to clean up the Mississippi river's
banks near his hometown of east Moline.
and 15 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later,
he's well on his way.
"A lot of people voted for me, but really they voted
for living lands and waters and clean water," said Pregracke.
During his speech to the big crowd, Pregracke's hilarious
personality shined through.
After receiving a big check for 20 thousand dollars from Alcoa,
Pregracke gave away his own big checks.
And he had a big thank you for the local media too.
"Channel 4 made a commercial about voting for the CNN
hero and then the other channels in town called and asked if they can use it
and you guys shared it and it really made a big difference. That's directly what CNN told me so I'm
really excited about it," said Pregracke.
Ever humble, Chad also gave credit to his staff and
Who don't mind working for the goofy boss.
Every day is an adventure. You
never know what the request might be or what's gonna come at you but it's a
great time," said Amber Pribyl, office manager for Living Lands and
And with hundreds of people attending the event, Pregracke
can rest easy knowing his mission won't soon be forgotten.
"I voted for him for the CNN man of the year and I just
wanted to keep on supporting him and show my support even further by coming out
tonight," said Lloyd Sichling, who was attending the event.
And one more honor for Chad Pregracke, Governor Pat Quinn
declared Sunday Chad Pregracke day to honor the CNN hero.
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