The Horicon Phoenix Program’s mission is to be a comprehensive economic and community revitalization program in the city of Horicon. Our group supports the local businesses, schools, civic organizations and environment with a special emphasis on respect, sustainability, friendship, and the benefits of enjoying life locally.
We are the catalyst for a myriad of public opportunities from the Horicon Community Gardens and Farmers Market, Music at the Market Summer Concert Series, Jersey Street Music Festival, River Bend Park Disc Golf Course, baby pantry, Little Free Libraries, playground equipment installation, historic preservation, and other special events.
The Horicon Phoenix Program seeks to strengthen our community by providing direct grants to small businesses and organizations that have a positive impact on the greater Horicon Area, and recognition to those civic leaders who have worked so hard to make Horicon a viable, thriving community.
Our Mission is build to our community so Horicon can continue to be a ‘city on the rise.’
The idea for the Horicon Phoenix Program was formed at a New Year’s Eve party when Bob and Jenni Rettmann and others discussed how Horicon could be better. Instead of focusing on what the town didn’t have, the conversation was steered focusing on what was possible for the town to bring to life. The conversation inspired the Rettmanns along with Jennee and Tory Harmuth to form a group dedicated to improving Horicon. The group was formed in February of 2007 and was modeled after the Wisconsin Main Street Program. The four residents of Horicon saw a need for an advocacy group – a group that would take grassroots ideas and activism, and use it to promote businesses, historical sites, and tourism. A group that would help do all the ideas they had discussed.
The group’s first project was to attempt to create a bike trail through Horicon. Several fundraisers were held but city officials vetoed the plans. Over the next year the group struggled to find its niche but enjoyed moderate success as other individuals came to the group with ideas. In 2008, the group received permission from the city to found a community garden. It soon grew to include a pavilion, shed, and water-storage tank. The group started a farmers market in the park during the same year. As donations and funding for the group increased, so did its scope.
The next few years saw more growth of membership within the group. Other events were added: the Music At The Market free summer concert series, Labor Day Weekend Celebration, and in 2011, Winter Festival. Other projects were advanced and completed including the construction of a disc golf course and implementing small business grants, college scholarships and community recognition awards. The group also began to partner with other organizations, such as the Horicon Historical Society, Gold Star Memorial Trail, and the Horicon Public Library. The group grew in numbers from four initial members to twenty-five members and volunteers.
What is unique about the group is that anyone can come to the group with an idea and see that idea become a reality – as long as they agree to spearhead the project. The Phoenix finds the funds and Phoenix volunteers help to see the project through to completion. Today the group is a viable force – visibly making Horicon better. The group has plans to upgrade playground equipment, renovate city buildings, build Little Libraries, create a small business center and of course, the Biggest Small-town Music Festival In The World, the Jersey Street Music Festival.
In the future the Horicon Phoenix Program plans to keep doing what it was created to do: building their community and creating a unique culture for Horicon and its residents.
Horicon Phoenix Program, Ltd. is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Federal EIN: 32-0234460