Wall of Yarn Generations Boutique Joyce WerntzDeiningers Floral FreeportThedford Jackson Highland Community CollegeBrowns Shoe Fit Brandon EricksonCity of Freeport Lowell CrowHilldale Sarah ThompsonLena Brewing Rafters Ross VehmeierMonroe Clinic Stephanie KruseYour Core Being Pat FyeMartinis on Main James UngsForreston State Bank Jeff Williams9 East Coffee Brenda MyersBill Green Wagner House Tim Hood Highland Community College Mike Marten Mort's Bar and Grill Freeport High School Winneshiek Playhouse Robert WalkerClassic Cinemas Lindo TheatreStephanie Feld Be The Change Frank Jewelers Freeport Art Museum Collaborate Freeport Wishful Acres Farm and Brewery Freeport Area Church Cooperative Abet Books and Games Nicole Sdao Paint the Port Freeport Downtown Development Foundation

Champions of Change

United Way of Northwest Illinois started the Small Town Big Heroes campaign in 2016 as a way to acknowledge the unsung heroes in our community. This year’s theme celebrated “Champions of Change.”

In September 2017, they announced the winners – congratulations to Austin Bower, Michelle Allen, Marilyn Smit, Miles Schwartz, Diane Regan, Stephanie Lewis, Chris Schneiderman, Larry Williams, Steven Kneubuehl, Gary Eisenhower Sr., Ted Tomita, Mindy Reiman and Ryan Shirley!

These types of individuals truly embody the mission and values of the United Way of Northwest Illinois, and it is our pleasure to share their stories with our region.

View more stories of Freeport and Stephenson County’s trailblazers, innovators and do-gooders.

Steve Kneubuehl - Champions of Change Diane Regan - Champions of Change Stephanie Lewis - Champions of Change Michelle Allen - Champions of ChangeMiles Schwartz - Champions of Change Austin Bower - Champions of ChangeMindy Reiman - Champions of Change Ryan Shirley - Champions of ChangeGary Eisenhower Sr - Champions of Change Chris Schneiderman - Champions of Change Ted Tomita - Champions of Change Larry Williams - Champions of ChangeMarilyn Smit - Champions of Change