Collaborate Freeport wins two state tourism awards

FREEPORT — Collaborate Freeport and the Freeport All In campaign entered the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards for the first time this year, and walked away with two awards.

The organization won the award for best branding initiative, as well as best website.

“These are the top awards for tourism in Illinois,” said Charles Colley of a5 Inc., the digital consultant contracted by Collaborate Freeport. “They come from the governor’s office.

“It’s a significant achievement because Freeport and Collaborate Freeport won on the very first submission for those awards.”

Amy Dreibelbis Fairweather, Collaborate Freeport’s interim creative director, said the awards are a testament to the work that’s been put in by people in the organization and show that the group is having an impact throughout the state.

“It’s a huge nod from the state saying, ‘You guys are doing something different; you are rallying your community and you are creating buzz about it,'” she said. “This means that not only are we putting Freeport on the map, but we’re actually making a mark on the map with the state and that people are able to see in and look for trends.”

Collaborate Freeport is a public/private partnership. About 75 percent of the organization’s first-year budget was raised privately, with the remainder coming from the city of Freeport and Freeport Park District.

The All In Freeport branding as well as its website was developed by the Chicago-based a5.

“We help deliver the message that Freeport is a dynamic community with great opportunities to live, raise a family, open a business and visit,” Colley said.

Derrick Mason: 815-232-0133;; @derrickhmason