The group is an evolution from the
recent "Boomtown USA" meetings hosted by the Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network.
served as the moderator with assistance from Patrick Doolin. Gowin
told the group he was not the leader of the group, but had been
asked to serve only as the moderator of all discussions. He said he
wanted to start by talking about what has taken place since the last
At the beginning of the meeting, Gowin talked about "We Are
Lincoln" versus Boomtown, saying that it was somewhat of a
misinterpretation to connect the We Are Lincoln movement with
Boomtown USA, though admittedly, the group has evolved from that to
what it is now.
The first Boomtown meeting came in October at Lincoln Community
High School and focused on creating a sense of entrepreneurship in
local youth, finding ways to keep them in the community after
college, and interacting with them in a productive way in the
Guest speakers Craig Lindvahl and Jack Schultz spoke at the first
meeting about the talent they have discovered in other areas by
implementing a CEO program for high school-age students. They spoke
on the "Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities" program that was
started in Effingham and how students there became involved in their
own small-business projects. They also talked about some of the
tremendous successes those students have realized after completing
The CEO program is something the chamber is still very interested
in pursuing, but it was what came after that first meeting that lit
the fire for We Are Lincoln.
After that first meeting, the Young Professionals Network set a
date for a Boomtown Roundtable meeting to occur at ALMH. At
practically the same time, an article written by a former Lincolnite
was published and broadcast through National Public Radio that
painted Lincoln as a decaying city with drug issues and high crime.
Many local citizens were offended by the article, but they were
also motivated. They were driven to ask themselves if that was the
perception of the city to people outside the community, and if it
was, how that could be addressed and changed.
The end result was that so many RSVP'd to the Boomtown Roundtable
that the venue had to be changed to the Lincoln Park District
Ballroom. When the meeting took place, the discussion quickly veered
to the negative article and discussions of how to make the city a
At that meeting, Doolin served as the moderator with assistance
from Blinn Bates of the YPN, and Craig Lindvahl was on hand.
Throughout the evening, members of the audience openly talked about
what is needed in the city of Lincoln to make it more attractive to
young professionals, people looking to move into Lincoln and those
A wide variety of ideas came out of that meeting. At the end of
the night, Doolin told the group that talk was good, but what was
needed was action. He offered them an opportunity to make lists on
large pieces of paper outlining what needed to be done.
Last Wednesday evening, when the group met for the first time as
We Are Lincoln, those same pieces of paper were brought out again,
and the group was encouraged to talk about their lists and how to
accomplish the goals on the lists.
Doolin talked about the CEO program and said that it was a
project he intended to stay involved in, along with the chamber.
In the audience was Lincoln High School Superintendent Robert
Doolin said there have been discussions with Bagby regarding the
CEO program, and the wheels are in motion. He told the group that
the CEO program won't come soon, though, because Lindvahl is
limiting the number of programs he opens each year so as to maintain
the integrity of the program. Opening a few each year allows
Lindvahl to be certain that each new program gets plenty of
attention from him and gets off to a good start.
Doolin concluded that Lindvahl knows there is interest here in
Lincoln for the CEO program, and it will come within the next couple
After Doolin's update, Gowin returned to the lists. He asked
about the need for a single resource for information about Lincoln.
David Doolin then spoke about this.
He told the group that preparing for a single source of
information was going to be a large undertaking, but something that
was needed. He said when searching Lincoln on the Internet, one can
come up with several bits and pieces, but there is no one place that
puts everything together to make a complete picture. He said for
those who are not familiar with the area, having a single location
for everything is very important.
He said he saw the single source as a "hub in the wheel"
resource. He said the idea was to create a site that would bring
searchers in, based on a broad search. Then, once they are at the
site, they would have options of other places to go to see more
specific information about the community.
Patrick Doolin commented on this from the last meeting, saying
this single source was something people seemed to want: a source
where they could track what is going on in the community and also
learn about the various organizations and other points of interest.
This report will continue in Part 2, when the group moves on to
other items on the first set of lists and talks what to do next to
move certain projects forward.
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related articles
American Legion seeks support for 69th annual Gifts for Yanks Who Gave
This is the 69th year that
citizens of Logan County have the opportunity to thank veterans who have
served our country and are now residents of nursing homes in our county. The
American Legion's Gifts for Yanks Who Gave ensures that no Logan County
veteran is forgotten during the Christmas season.
Each year, citizens respond generously
to this program as a way of thanking men and women who have served
in the armed forces of the nation. Logan County residents are urged
to once again respond to this program and show these men and women
that we do care.
Contributions to support this cause
can be mailed to:
Yanks Who Gave
c/o Town and Country Bank
PO Box 159
Lincoln, IL 62656
Donations are appreciated and will
be used for Christmas gifts for hospitalized veterans from Logan
at the Palms schedules encore performance of 'It's a Mystery to Me:
Atlanta & the KKK'
ATLANTA Due to popular demand, a second date has been scheduled
for presentation of the "It's a Mystery to Me: Atlanta & the KKK"
program at the Palms Grill Café in Atlanta. The originally scheduled
KKK program will still be presented on Friday, Dec. 13, but because
that evening is now fully booked and so many folks have called
trying to get a reservation, the program will be repeated on Friday,
To make a reservation for the Jan. 3 KKK program or any of the
other programs remaining in the series, phone 217-648-5077 between 8
a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, or leave a voice message with your
phone number at other times.
The Atlanta Public Library and Museum is presenting "Dinner
Programs at the Palms Grill Café," a free series of events at the
Palms Grill, 110 SW Arch St., on Old Route 66 in downtown Atlanta.
The programs run through February and feature local speakers who
present 45- to 60-minute presentations or activities following
dinner at the Palms Grill. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., and the
evening's program or activity starts at 7 p.m. Reservations are
required and limited to 50 people.
Programs on the schedule for the remainder of this year and in
Friday, Dec. 13, and
repeated on Friday, Jan. 3
"It's a Mystery to Me: Atlanta & the KKK"
In this program, the Atlanta Historic Commission and the Atlanta
Museum ask you to consider Atlanta's involvement with the Ku Klux
Klan in the mid-1920s. Artifacts, documentation, photos and period
newspaper accounts will be presented and examined, with the goal of
having those attending decide what the "history" of Atlanta and the
Friday, Jan. 17
"Movie Magic in Atlanta"
Christopher Myers and Cory Berstein, of Bloomington-Normal, will
share how they became the winners of the 2011 Normal Theater Short
Film Festival. People attending will view their 2011 winning entry,
plus learn about and watch their newest movie project, including a
number of scenes filmed in downtown Atlanta.
Friday, Jan. 24
"Foundations of Atlanta: The John Dowdy Story"
The Atlanta Historic Commission and the Atlanta Museum will tell
the story of John Dowdy, a man whose lifelong work can be found
underfoot throughout most of the community, in the form of the
sidewalks everyone treads upon, as well beneath many of Atlanta's
older homes, in the form of their concrete block foundations. In
addition, the people attending will learn about a library program in
which a group of Atlantans have teamed up with students from Olympia
South Elementary School in a project to re-create the purple martin
houses Mr. Dowdy used to build and maintain in downtown Atlanta.
Friday, Feb. 7
"Illinois Office of Tourism Update"
Ms. Jen Hoelzle, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism,
leads the state's tourism industry marketing and development
efforts. Before joining the Office of Tourism in October 2012, she
served as the director of external engagement for the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security and in several capacities for the
state of Illinois. Ms. Hoelzle has brought fresh ideas for statewide
tourism strategies and pushed for heavy social media engagement
designed to drive new visitors to Illinois. She'll update the group
attending on the current state of tourism in Illinois.
Friday, Feb. 21
"Wheels of Change: The History of Bicycles in Atlanta"
The Atlanta Historic Commission and Atlanta Museum will team up
again to present a concise history of the bicycle in Atlanta. The
program will examine the social implications of the invention that
hit the streets -- and railroads -- of early Atlanta through the
present day. Of course, one cannot study the bicycle without coming
across the name of the infamous George "Sonny" McIntyre, one of
Atlanta's most eccentric citizens and the builder of many of the
town's bicycles for close to 50 years. Come to this program to learn
about McIntyre, share your stories and speculate about the future of
bicycles in Atlanta.
Friday, Feb. 28
"It's a Mystery to Me: The Bucket of Blood"
Sometime in the early afternoon on Tuesday, April 2, 1935, a
murder-suicide happened involving Joseph and Verna Rehrman, owners
of the Popular Inn, a roadhouse on Route 66 just north of Atlanta.
The mystery of exactly what transpired that fateful day will be
recounted in a new narrative written by Terri Ryburn, based upon
research conducted by the Atlanta Museum and the Atlanta Historic
Commission. Learn about this tragedy, as well as share stories you
may have heard growing up, as this program examines the mystery of
"The Bucket of Blood."