Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony





Defenders’ Annual Meeting and Theta Award Presentation

Each year in March, the Defenders hold a meeting of all members, as required by our bylaws. This is a social gathering as well as a formal meeting, organized around a brunch or dinner, either potluck or catered. Often, a raffle, silent auction, or other fundraiser are a part of the event.

After dinner, an overview of what we have accomplished throughout the past year is presented by the Board President or staff. All members present vote on the slate of candidates for the board of directors for the coming two years.

The award ceremony takes place after the meeting. Five awards may be presented: The Theta* Award (the highest honor given to an individual or group for environmental service), the Volunteer Award (the award given to a Defenders’ member to recognize superior volunteer efforts), an Organization or Government Award ( for the McHenry County governmental group that has made a significant contribution to environmental protection in the county during the past year.), the Young Defenders Award (an award made to a young member to recognize outstanding volunteer service), and the Lifetime Achievement Award (an award issued to a person who has made a significant impact on the organization and only given if there is someone to honor).


*What is the significance of the Theta to the environmental community? The Ecology Flag was developed around the time of the first Earth Day. It is an adaptation of the American flag with 13 green and white stripes and a combination of the letters “E” and “O” in the upper left in reference to “Environment” and “Organism.” The symbol happened to resemble the Greek letter theta and so, with its historical symbolism as a warning (like the skull and crossbones), the theta was adopted as the official symbol for the flag, warning the public of the impending harm being done to our environment.



44th Annual Meeting and Theta Award Ceremony
March 9, 2014

Dr. Don Wuebbles, professor at the University of IllinoisDr. Don Wuebbles, professor at the University of Illinois and a Nobel Laureate for his work on the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, presented a terrific program about global climate change and how it is resulting in greater extremes of weather throughout the world. One climate change denier in the audience stated that he was actually swayed to believe that we need to take action after hearing this presentation. The rest of us were reaffirmed in our belief that we need to get Congress to act on this issue.

You can access the slides that Dr. Wuebbels used in his presentation HERE. The IPCC assessment Report 5 can be found at and the 2009 National Climate Assessment can be found at

Click here to read the report Model Behaviour: Comparing Climate Science with Economic Forecasts

There are many photos of the event on our FaceBook page – Click Here!

2010 – Our 40 Year Anniversary

2010-Annual-Meeting-CakeOn March 13th, 2010, Defenders’ members gathered for the Annual Meeting and Potluck Supper, celebrating the Defenders’ 40th anniversary. The evening began with a social hour – meeting old and new friends, buying raffle tickets, and bidding on the silent auction items. After the feast came the Reverse Raffle, followed by a short meeting to elect the Board of Directors for the coming year and the awards presentations.

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement AwardIn recognition of the leadership, inspiration and simply the example they have provided to other people who share their love of the Earth, on how to care for it and how to treat their fellow human beings, the Defenders are proud to honor Alice and Bill Howenstine

Watch videos from the meeting