By Kathy Borlik
Life is starting to turning around a bit. And aren’t we all thrilled about that? So let’s bring to you today a group of people who are also excited about getting out, having a great time and hugging people again.
It all starts with Andrew Berlin, the owner of South Bend Cubs. He offered an optimistic message of the goodness around us back in December and posted it to Facebook and the South Bend Cubs’ website.
Andrew said at the time that things were about to change. “The future can, will and must be brighter. I’ll do my part to build teams to make that happen. All of us, I believe, should be part of that effort. Be well, be safe, be vigilant, be positive, and think creatively. … All of us can prosper in our own ways going forward.”
There were a number of good points and uplifting thoughts. He said there was still a need to be cautious, but it was all going to get better. Andrew was cheering on humanity.
That sparked a whole lot of interest and two local women agreed with everything Andrew said. A number of community leaders and business people also approved. Next thing you know, there is a video public service announcement with a background song by a local artist, Adam MacMillan.
More about Adam later. Stay tuned.
Kerri Anderson and Kari Maddox, both from the South Bend area, each saw Andrew’s post. Both liked what was said and decided it needed to be heard and passed around.
They didn’t know each other before the pandemic shutdown but found each other on Facebook. They both were dealing with lots of pressure and a touch of hopelessness. Now they are good friends and less hopeless.
Kari said Andrew’s message spoke to her. “We needed to look beyond. We needed to see the bigger picture. We (Kari and Kerri) started to brainstorm.” The brainstorming produced an idea … a video. Both women believed it would inspire and pull the community together.
Kerri and Kari presented the idea to Andrew, and he approved of the concept. He turned to Lou Pierce of Big Idea Company, a public relations and marketing firm, to bring everything together.
You can read the whole message and see the video here at milb.com/south-bend/news/theres-also-optimism.
Helping to deliver the message of unity were Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Amy Collier of Girls on the Run and Kurt Janowsky of Navarre Hospitality, among others. They each want to see happy crowds out and about.
Jacqueline Kronk of the Boys and Girls Club, St. Joseph County, was happy to join in with the message. “We have to bring the positive message. It is critical for the community to pull together.”
James Summers, executive director of Project Impact, said he is looking forward to working with clients face-to-face as a business developer. Project Impact gives small businesses a boost as they start up.
James said there were many challenges with the pandemic and the racial unrest. “We have a wake-up call to stop and look around. We need to treat each other better. We have failed to love each other. We can do things better. I love the message from Andrew. I can’t wait until we can reopen and I can hug people.”
Adam is an Adams High School and University of Illinois graduate. He worked as a mechanical engineer and in sales for a number of years. Never really happy about the work. His side gig was music and there was a connection there. “I wrote my first song in college for a girl.” He didn’t share his songs.
Adam was in a band in Chicago and decided to bring out some tunes. There was a good response. He took the giant step to move home and concentrate on music.
He is a member of Phineas Gage, a local band, which performs original songs and covers.
Adams said he knows Kari Maddox. She was one of the driving forces for the video and she was looking for a song.
Adam’s “For Granted” says he and others are ready to get out, see friends and never take relationships for granted again. He has missed everyone.
“I wanted to make people happy and capture that feeling,” he said.