Downers Grove Resident Wins General Motors Hero Program

Our Town, Our Heroes Now Seeks Next Illinois Hometown Hero

Mar 18, 2011, 15:12 ET from General Motors

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Downers Grove native Jennifer VanHoutan has been chosen as the winner of the General Motors' Our Town, Our Heroes program! VanHoutan received more than 2,300 votes on due to her inspirational story of life with two children with Batten Disease, and the founding of, dedicated to awareness and research for the rare genetic disorder without a known cure. Both VanHoutan and her nominator, Annie Farnaus will receive a week-long loan of an all-new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle and a full tank of gas.

In her nomination, Farnaus describes VanHoutan's dedication to her children with the disease, Noah and Laine, and her commitment to giving them as normal a life as possible, while supporting her other daughter Emily.

"By pouring herself into, Jennifer promises to do whatever it takes so that no other family has to experience this," said Farnaus.  "Jennifer inspires her family, friends and community, and I look up to her in more ways than she will ever know."

Submissions for the next round of the Our Town, Our Heroes program are currently being accepted. General Motors launched the recognition program to support and reward local heroes who inspire and empower others in their community. Every two weeks, the program will narrow down the nominations, and enable the public to choose the winner by voting for the featured finalists.  

"All of our nominees and finalists symbolize the many different facets of a hero, and we are thrilled to name Jennifer as the first Our Town, Our Heroes winner," said Brian Goebel, General Motors North Central Region Communications Manager. "We can't wait for the public to nominate additional heroes and share their inspirational stories."

To read the winning nomination, and the stories of the other finalists, visit

About General Motors General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries.  GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy.  GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.  More information on the new General Motors can be found at

SOURCE General Motors