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Lawrence shines light on others

EAST MOLINE -- The kid from Watertown is changing things.

Nate Lawrence
For someone who seems to be involved in everything, Nate Lawrence manages somehow to stay out of the spotlight.

``A good (public relations) person shines the light on somebody else,'' Mr. Lawrence said.

The public relations, marketing and promotions man most recently is committed to shining the light on Watertown -- his childhood home. Mr. Lawrence believes the Quad-Cities should be proud of the small East Moline community, which produced several world-class musicians.

In honor and recognition of Watertown's cultural contributions, Mr. Lawrence and several childhood friends (now living as far away as Saipan) are working to establish a jazz festival. The plan is to hold the first festival in Watertown.

``We lived in a nice place that prepared us well,'' Mr. Lawrence said of his old neighborhood. ``Any successes we've enjoyed have been the direct product of the affects of our extended community -- the village raising the child.''

Now, Mr. Lawrence and his friends want to give back.

``There are some things you just think are important,'' he said. ``I think this is important.''

It's easy to tell when Mr. Lawrence thinks something is important -- even as he shies away from center stage.

For instance, though some might recognize Mr. Lawrence as an eight-year member and first chairman of the East Moline Commission on Human Relations, few would know he was largely responsible for the formation of the group.

``Nate was there from the very beginning,'' said Richard Van Raes, assistant director of planning and development for East Moline. ``His insight and experience were vital to the formation of the group.''

As he continues in his role as chairman for the human relations commission and facilitator for the Quad-Cities' Media Roundtable, while still running his East Moline business, Mr. Lawrence said he's focusing most of his energy on getting the jazz festival to Watertown.

``I'd love to do it this year, but my common sense tells me I should shoot for next year,'' he said. ``It's extremely rewarding to work on something that's important to you.''

-- By Barb Ickes (February 9, 1998)

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