Exchange Club of Urbana honoree: ‘I prayed … I would never lose my faith’

Tolono’s JOANN HESSELMANN SMITH just won the Book of Golden Deeds Award, the Exchange Club of Urbana’s highest honor.

She was instrumental in establishing the C-U Montessori School in Savoy, which has expanded to include an elementary school with grades 1 through 6. She also has served as religious education coordinator at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Tolono, where she is in her 52nd year as organist, and has been a member of the Champaign-Piatt County Catholic Charities Advisory Board for 30 years, 25 of those with a focus on foster care and adoption.

Smith, who also had a long career in nursing, sat down with staff writer PAUL WOOD for five questions. Read more.