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BLOOMINGTON — A longtime autism awareness advocate and a volunteer with several community organizations have been named Community Service Leadership Award winners by the Multicultural Leadership Program.

Jacquie Mace and Emily Vigneri will be recognized at the Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP) 2018 graduation ceremony, which will be 7 p.m. April 28 at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center, Normal.

Mace founded the Autism Society of McLean County in 2002. Now called Autism McLean, the organization provides people with autism and their families with resources to be participating members of society.

In 2003, Mace developed an autism resource book. In 2006, she collaborated with others to create the McLean County Community Autism Plan, and she has worked at the state level to develop autism awareness guides for families, teachers and business professionals.

Vigneri has been a board member of the League of Women Voters of McLean County since 2013 and serves as league president. She is the director of university outreach for the Association of Talent Development-Heart of Central Illinois Chapter; was a volunteer and board member for Crossroads Handcrafts of the World from 2011 to 2016; worked with Green Top Grocery Cooperative from 2015 to 2017; and served on the board of directors of For a Better Tomorrow from 2015 to 2017. She is a graduate of the MCLP class of 2013.

Twenty-five people make up the MCLP class of 2018 and will be graduating on April 28, with activist and Illinois Wesleyan University graduate Charlene Carruthers serving as keynote speaker.

Reservations are $50 and may be made at www.bn-mclp.org.

MCLP, which began in 2009, works to develop a diverse group of community leaders during an eight-month leadership development program that runs from July through March. As part of the program, each class is divided into several groups to work with McLean County nonprofit organizations to address unmet needs.

Follow Paul Swiech on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Editor

Health Editor for The Pantagraph.

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