How many of you have seen an event elsewhere and have said we need to have that in Quincy. I bet most of you have had that thought over the years. So why not make it happen?  If I can do it, you can too.

I mention this because the recent St. Patrick’s Parade is living proof that an idea can become reality. I’d seen the St. Patrick’s Parades in New York, Chicago and Kansas City and was determined we needed one here in Quincy. So in 1986 I started, along with Dennis Oliver, what we thought was the world’s smallest St. Patrick’s Parade, just the two of us. Look where it has gone. In 32 years the St. Patrick's Parade has grown to nearly 100 entries.  So you can make it happen.

Thirty-one years ago, by chance, I saw a "Healthy Kids Fair" going on at the Peoria Zoo with my daughter.  I thought to myself, this needs to happen in Quincy too. So I went to Blessing Hospital with the idea and they loved it. The first three years were at the Illinois Veteran’s Home Animal Park before moving to Blessing and Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing. This October will mark the 30th anniversary of the Teddy Bear Clinic which is now part of the curriculum at the College. How many thousands of kids have had their teddy bear checked out over those years? So you can make it happen

Look at Gus Macker.  Twenty-nine years ago Quincy’s Mike Lavery saw this event while he was visiting Decatur, Illinois. Right away he thought this would be a great idea for Quincy.  So he took the idea to the Quincy Exchange Club who helped Mike make it happen. Think about the thousands of kids and adults who have enjoyed it being here? This May will mark the 28th year for Gus Macker in Quincy. So you can make it happen.

I close with this. If you see it and you want it to take place.  Then roll up your sleeves and make it happen!