Mable Thomas, longtime coordinator of neighborhood groups for the City of Champaign, passed away April 13, 2010 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. A Community Memorial Service will be held for Mable at 1:00 pm, Saturday, May 8, 2010 at Douglass Park in Champaign. Rev. Larry Lewis, Pastor of Bethel AME Church, will conduct the service. Mayor Jerry Schweighart and Councilmember Will Kyles will offer comments and Champaign City Manager Steve Carter and others will speak about Mable’s service to the community. The City will also dedicate honorary street signs to Mable’s family. Seating will be provided in the park for guests.

Ms. Thomas was originally hired in 1987 as Administrative Assistant, promoted to the Assistant to the City Manager for Community Development in 1988 and was appointed to serve as Neighborhood Services Coordinator upon creation of the Neighborhood Services Department in 1992. Ms. Thomas was a dedicated public servant who spent countless hours providing support to neighborhood residents and leaders in addressing community problems.

Over her tenure with the City, Ms. Thomas helped organize hundreds of neighborhood groups. She was instrumental in expanding the City’s Neighborhood Watch Program and organized the popular National Night Out event. With the support of the City Council she created the Neighborhood Small Grant Program to fund neighborhood based problem solving and improvement projects. She initiated an Annual Neighborhood Leaders Meeting to educate residents about City government. She was also very active in a number of community organizations and activities including the Triad SALT, Crimestoppers, Safe Kids Coalition, CommUnity Matters and the First Street Farmers Market.

Community members and representatives of neighborhood groups are encouraged to come out and celebrate the life of Mable Thomas.