Many people inspire me, but the folks that really touch my heart are the ones that devote their time to selfless giving and use their talents to help others.  One person I crossed paths with recently, truly exemplifies both of these qualities.  Amongst his laundry list of good deeds (which by the way, he wants absolutely no credit for) is a special project he's currently working to complete. 

Rewind to three weeks ago, I started working at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) as Marketing and Communications Manager. This happened right in the midst of planning for our very first Stroll on State event, downtown Rockford. The purpose of this event is to bring Rockfordians together to celebrate the holidays, start new traditions, revive the spirit of giving and to just have an all-around good time. So, in order to create an event with this type of impact, it involves a substantial amount of planning - cue Ben Hunter.


As I watched him build a 3ftx3ft wooden "gift", we made small talk and I quickly learned of his active leadership roles at both Woodward and Heartland Community Church.  It was no surprise to me when he explained the numerous charitable projects he's helped with and the leadership groups he's been a part of. 

Because of Ben's active role in the community, he quickly realized he needed a space big enough for his equipment, tools and...sawdust.  His workshop, a.k.a. his garage, allows for him to fulfill his passion to create, while still being able to spend quality time with his family.


After a few hours at the Hunter household, I became very hopeful.  For many reasons.  But most of all - hopeful that this event is going to be an incredible success, hopeful that there truly are people that care to be a part of something bigger than themselves, but most of all, hopeful that this city is in good hands with folks like Ben working so hard behind the scenes to bring peace, love and workmanship back into this community.

If you want to see many of the decor items Ben and many others created, they will be on display at Stroll on State, November 30th, 4p-10p.  Visit for details and an itinerary.