We need you.

Of course, every team of writers, photographers, and editors who produce a community magazine can say that. Serving you is why we exist.

We at Quintessential Barrington are always looking for news, especially ideas about “Quintessential People”, the centerpiece feature of our franchise and the defining journalism we do about the best citizens in our communities. For 15 years, we have profiled these spectacular neighbors in each issue.

We are proud of “Quintessential People”. But the truth is that you know those special people better than do we, because there are thousands of you. So, we have decided to reshape “Quintessential People” to honor our citizens in a broader way. We are evolving, and we need you as partners to do it. We will dive deeper into the idea of “Quintessential” and what it means to be one of those people.

After all, Quintessential is not only a magazine feature and our trademark; it is a distinct set of generous, noble human characteristics.

Our evolution recognizes that life need not be noticed only looking backward. True, decades of caring and accomplishments validate that a person is, and has been, special.

But some people are profoundly successful as teens, or 20-year-olds, or 30- or 40-year olds. Age is one defining measure, but hardly the only one. Some who are spectacular at 70 were those same people at 17. They will grow and change, but they were always Quintessential. A model. An example. Some children living down the street are already brilliant, caring, sharing, and productive fellow citizens. They might already be making the Quintessential difference.

Quintessentials are young and old. Their lives might be grand or humble. They might be public or private. What they all share is a big heart and a willingness to make a difference.

We want to meet those people so we can introduce them to you.

How can you recognize them? When a local church needs human power and energy to help those in need, there is always a small group of people—sometimes just one person—diving into the challenge and conquering it. Someone is always the first to help.

When elders are alone and struggling, there are people in your neighborhood who volunteer to bring joy and companionship to them, not because they get credit for it. Those sharers are not celebrities, but they are Quintessential.

A 20-year-old Barrington-area soldier is serving tonight with distinction and honor in Afghanistan or Iraq. Or aboard a nuclear submarine. Each has gone to dangerous ramparts on your behalf and is a Quintessential. One day they will come home as neighbors. They are Quintessential now.

Send us their names and contact information. All of them. Tell us briefly why they are a Quintessential. Inspire us with tales of their humanness. They are your friends, relatives, and neighbors. They are all different and unique. And we’d like to share their stories with you.

Editor’s Note: We’d love to hear from you. Send your Quintessential nominations to lisa@qbarrington.com.

David Rutter’s career spans 45 years as publisher, editor, writer, and columnist at six daily newspapers in five states. He wrote columns for the Chicago Tribune’s suburban newspapers and won Chicago’s Lisagor Award for editorial writing. He has written three books, and teaches personal memoir writing at the region’s community centers and libraries. Rutter lives in Lake Villa. He can be reached at david.rutter@live.com or 847-445-7684.

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