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McGuire: Neighbors, families, businesses form community

Published: Sunday, July 20, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Community.

It’s a word that is used quite a bit to suggest that we live more than just for ourselves. It’s a word that gives a sense of security and well-being. An interacting population of various kinds of individuals, as Merriam-Webster would describe.

It’s always amazing and wonderful to see a group of people embrace this concept. Here in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, a strong sense of community is seen by volunteers and attendees of the festivals that occur. In Lake in the Hills, Rockin’ Ribfest and Sunsetfest, and in Algonquin, the Founders’ Days Parade and Festival, bring the community together to informally congregate and get together.

Recently, I was volunteering at a local festival, and I couldn’t help but feel good watching people connect, engage and come together. I saw neighbors that I haven’t seen in weeks. By volunteering to be at the gate, I was able to meet and connect with my community. If you haven’t volunteered at or attended one of these great events, I encourage you to check it out.

Then there are the moments that are history in the making that bring people together to commemorate the change.

One such recent event was the beam raising for Centegra Health System’s new hospital in Huntley. Many community families came out to enjoy the festivities and sign the beam that was being placed in the structure of the new hospital.

Imagine a 5-year-old child who signed the beam returning to work at the hospital many years in the future, remembering that they were a part of the building of something lasting and solid. It’s history in the making, and we love to say that we were there when …

Another such event will be the dedication of the Algonquin Western Bypass, happening soon. Although there might have been much controversy, discussion and debate with this project, the community will come out with interest and anticipation for the dedication. Why? Because it is the framework of where we live, work, play, raise families, retire and so much more.

At the end of the day, the benefits of these decisions made – not lightly – by village, county and state officials help the community come together and grow. They create jobs, build commerce and help with life in the villages of Algonquin and Lake in the Hills. It’s why the Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cuttings, events and awards dinners – to commemorate a new adventure, to support a dream and to ultimately continue to build community.

Without small and large businesses, our community could not exist. Our local businesses help with financial assistance to support the festivals, memorials and other charitable events.

A great way to thank local businesses for their support is to shop at local businesses and keep commerce in our villages. Attend local events. Meet up with neighbors. Come together in ways that bring solutions and not criticism.

Together we make up our community, and what great communities the villages of Algonquin and Lake in the Hills are – where we live and work.

I look forward to seeing you at the next community happening.

• Katrina McGuire is president of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at 847-658-5300.

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