CPAC – Its Beginning
The Candlewick Political Action Committee (CPAC) produced some major accomplishments for CWL in its early years. After achieving major goals, CPAC remained dormant for several years. In 2008 CPAC was reactivated under new leadership. It was dissolved in November 2010 and its remaining funds, which were earned during its early years, of approximately $1700 were donated to the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry.
This article aims to convey a brief account and recognize those responsible for one of CPAC’s early achievements.
CPAC was founded in 1995 by a group of dedicated property owners who took action primarily to resolve a crucial problem affecting our lake. Consumers Illinois Water Company effluent was being discharged directly into Candlewick Lake. Recreational use of the lake was greatly damaged as a result.
The future of CWL as a community was seriously threatened by the prospect of a deteriorated lake. The problem could be resolved by discharging effluent into Beaver Creek rather than the lake but the Boone County Board voted against it.
These CWL property owners determined the best way to resolve the crisis and receive fair and equal treatment was to pursue representation on the Boone County Board. Getting CWL candidates elected to the County Board was crucial.
A well designed action plan was implemented. CPAC volunteers established a network to keep the people of Candlewick Lake informed and involved. Community support was vital. Committee members were sought for each of the 11 units of CWL to take responsibility for relaying information quickly and effectively to their neighbors.
Candidate forums were well organized to benefit CWL residents with an opportunity to question those running for elected office.
CPAC also needed funding. Concerned residents worked diligently and creatively to organize fund raising events and promote community interest. Fund raisers included fall festivals, bake sales, pancake breakfasts, chili dinners, and auctions. Some local businesses donated merchandise for resale at auctions.
These fund raisers proved successful ventures. CPAC achieved a year end balance of $4,047 its first year.
The unified community effort succeeded. Two CWL residents ran for office and were elected to the Boone County Board. These political victories accomplished the goal of providing representation and fair treatment for CWL. Subsequently, the County Board approved discharging Consumers effluent into Beaver Creek. Candlewick Lake was preserved to become the recreational lake it is today.
Records are not available to adequately recognize all the many people who worked together in this endeavor, but our thanks and appreciation goes out to each and every one of you.
Written by Mary Budreau, edited by Sandy Morse
Docmentation of CPAC’s beginning, courtesy of Mary Lou Brooks