AP NEWS

2019 Community Expo hit for families, businesses alike

March 29, 2019

SYCAMORE – Angel Grasty could hardly contain her excitement surrounded by four boys holding glow sticks from First National Bank. She came out to the 2019 Community Expo to support her daughter who works at Beef Shack, and decided to bring the gang along.

“I went home and grabbed these guys because I figured they would have fun,” Grasty said, pointing to her three sons, Jackson Grasty, 10, Richard Grasty, 13, Kramer Grasty, 9, and friend Charlie Banbury, 13.

Grasty and company huddled near the First National Bank booth at the 15th annual expo, one of 128 vendors that participated in the countywide community showcase, co-hosted by the DeKalb and Sycamore Chambers of Commerce.

Matt Duffy, executive director for the DeKalb Chamber, said 2,000 visitors made their way through the doors Thursday evening of the Sycamore High School Field House, 427 Spartan Trail, Sycamore .

“They used to have [the expo] at the old DeKalb High School when I was a kid,” Grasty said. “These used to be my favorite thing when I was growing up! I love free stuff, even if it’s dorky.”

RoseMarie Treml, executive director for the Sycamore Chamber, said this year’s expo far-exceeded any previous years, and they even ran out of bags to give away to people coming in.

“It’s been fabulous,” Treml said, adding the weather helped with attendance. “We were here at 8:30 this morning. We worked with Tool Time Rental, Inc. and they brought the tables and chairs. And DeKalb Chamber came and we had volunteers to help us set up. It’s pretty smooth because we’ve done it for so many years.”

Treml has said the expo is a way to showcase the business and non-business communities, and blend DeKalb and Sycamore chamber worlds.

Lisa Brundies, 56, and Rebecca Edwards, 41, of Advanced Family Eyecare Center said they’ve been coming to the expo for years.

“I started coming to the expo when it was still at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau,” Brundies said, who is the owner and optician at the eyecare center. “[We come] to meet new people who might be interested in switching eye care, and it’s just a great way to say hi to people that we know already.”

Her colleague, Edwards, a manager and optician at the eye care center, said the expo is also a great networking tool.

“I think it’s good for the business-to-business, too,” Edwards said. “We get to see and meet so many new businesses. On a day-to-day basis, we work so we don’t get to network like this.”

The expo switches locations every year, with hosting duties traded off between the DeKalb and Sycamore Chambers every other year. Next year, the expo will grace the halls of DeKalb High School.

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