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March 19, 2024 Billy George

We all want GREAT things and this is how they happen!  

Improvement in any area of our community is a result of the initiative and energy of many people. Complaining into the void of social media does not make progress – engaging with other like-minded people in the community does. 

Example: Pretzel Pickers 

Three years ago, a group of residents volunteered to participate in the Partnership’s Stephenson County Clean-up. Their initial efforts sparked a fire that is still blazing! The volunteers felt good about what they could give back to the community and noticed that the change produced ripples throughout Freeport. Other volunteers joined and engaged in the same work and now their group has dozens of members who help in a weekly effort. The Pretzel Pickers ENGAGED in their work and have a committed group making a difference in our community.  

Similar examples are evident with the event organizers for the recent Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, upcoming Masonic Event Center concerts, Tutty Fest returning this summer, and so many more. These events are a result of the efforts of an engaged group of people who wanted something better for their community or their organization. 

Last week’s BASE Camp class of small business owners and entrepreneurs had a great conversation regarding engagement. Regardless of where they are in their business journey, all of the attendees realized the importance of being involved in the community, showing support for the community, and giving back. Moreover, wearing your company’s shirt, hat, or other branded apparel promotes your good work for the business, as well.  

To make it event easier to engage, the Partnership has a linked calendar file that you can download to your Google or Outlook calendar to add events right on your schedule. This calendar includes membership events such as Business After Hours and Rise N Shine and also community events such as Music on Chicago and Pretzel Fest.  

To download the file, click here. A .cal file will be downloaded to your device. Once you open the file, it will open in your email calendar software. Select which calendar you would like the events to appear. To check that the file is linked properly, check to see if Business After Hours has been added to your calendar for March 21 at 5 pm.

Nicole Haas, MIOP is the Brand Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. She can be reached at or 815-801-3676.