Fusion: Bangor: Strengthening the power of community through young professionals

By Annie Collins, Special to the BDN
Posted Jan. 24, 2014, at 3:59 p.m.

The mission of FUSION:Bangor is straightforward: to connect young residents in the Bangor region to each other and the community. The importance of FUSION’s efforts is undeniable. A population of connected, motivated and civically engaged young professionals — the future leaders of the Bangor region — driving our community forward, ensuring it is a vital place to live and work for current and future generations of young residents.

We’ve grown a lot over the past couple of years, and I’m happy to report that this was FUSION’s biggest year yet. Through new and reinvigorated programming, events, and community engagement, we connected hundreds of young professionals and played a part in propelling Bangor’s momentum.

This is a great place to live, work and play – and FUSION is proving it!

In March of last year we launched what was surely our most popular program of 2013, FUSION Sports. The spring dodgeball and fall kickball league brought a combined 30 teams of more than 350 young residents together.

FUSION continued to host after-hour networking events, Newcomers’ Night, providing a casual, non-intimidating atmosphere to meet and connect with new people. FUSION also partnered with The First Bank in launching Meet Your Reps, an after-hours event where community members can connect with their local elected officials. We look forward to continuing both of these programs in 2014.

Our Downtown Proud initiative, in partnership with Bangor Savings Bank, works to ensure that our downtown community stays vital and attractive.

Throughout 2012-2013 FUSION organized downtown clean ups, retail open houses, and art tours. We also planted pink tulips in association with the Maine Cancer Foundation. Downtown Proud culminated in a Celebration, which included a scavenger hunt, prizes, retail open house and a reception in downtown Bangor.

    FUSION ended 2013 with our Annual Awards Extravaganza, sponsored by Bangor Federal Credit Union. We took guests back in time to a 1920s’ speakeasy, complete with a gin station and jazz band. The Extravaganza is a chance to celebrate Bangor and connect FUSION members through a fun, unique event. It also gives us an opportunity to recognize community members who have significantly contributed to FUSION’s mission.

The winners of this year’s awards were:

Innovator of the Year Award: Garrett Wilkin; Downtown Proud Vitalization Award: 11 Central; Leadership and Vision Award: Ben Sprague. Congratulations again to all, and thank you for making the Bangor region a vital place for young residents.

Fusion looks forward to 2014 and another year of continued success of current programming while working on new ways to engage with young professionals in Bangor. For more information, find us on Facebook at Fusion:Bangor or email events@fusionbangor.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/24/special-sections/fusion-bangor-strengthening-the-power-of-community-through-young-professionals/ printed on July 22, 2014