“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” These words from Helen Keller nicely summarize the rationale for any group of individuals who have come together for a collective purpose. Whether founded for professional, philanthropic, cultural or social reasons, clubs and organizations are essential to getting big things done—things none of us have the capacity to accomplish on our own.
Indeed, much of the great work being done in our region is driven by organizations, and we hear from a diverse sampling of them in these pages. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Itoo Society, established in 1914 to support the immigrants who came to central Illinois from this small Lebanese village of 1,200. A century later, Peoria, Illinois and Aitou, Lebanon officially entered into a sister-city relationship—one that’s certain to bring our two cities even closer.
Clubs and organizations are integral to our neighborhoods, from the work of community and neighborhood associations to the more formal role of our fire departments—who do so much more than put out fires. The efforts of Junior League volunteers have given rise to the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, while the Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria, CEO Council and Black Business Alliance are among those leading a range of efforts in the business community. From nonprofits like Peoria Promise to professional associations like the Society of Women Engineers, organized groups of individuals are doing together what they can’t do alone—and making a difference in Greater Peoria.
This month—for the 21st time—we begin soliciting nominations for another exclusive club: the 40 Leaders Under Forty group of emerging young leaders. This year, we’ve extended that long-running program with the inaugural 40 Leaders Alumnus of the Year Award, recognizing a former recipient who has continued to make a substantial impact on our community. On August 6th, that award will be presented at an exclusive networking event for 40 Leaders alumni at Dozer Park. If you are a former recipient, don’t miss it! Learn more at peoriamagazines.com/events—and don’t forget to visit peoriamagazines.com/40-leaders to submit your nomination for the Class of 2014!
I’d be remiss if I did not mention that this month marks the 25th anniversary of this magazine. Though we didn’t have much time for a fancy celebration, I’m very proud to have reached the quarter-century mark—as anyone who runs a business knows that’s no easy task.
What about your business? Are you celebrating an anniversary in the near-future? Send your information to [email protected], and you’ll be considered for inclusion in a future issue focusing on local businesses. iBi