Freeport Community Services (FCS) has been providing critical support to the communities of Freeport and Pownal since 1974. As we lead up to our signature White Nights celebration on Jan. 23, 2016, we have partnered with the Tri-Town Weekly for the third year in a row to “Shine the Light” on some of the friends of FCS who make such a difference in our community. This is the last in our series.

Brown Goldsmiths, located in the heart of Freeport’s downtown district, is well known for creating signature and custom, one-of a kind jewelry, outstanding customer service, and true commitment to the community.

When Steve and Judy Brown started their company in 1967, “we knew nothing,” admitted Steve with a grin. They looked for inspiration in the neighborhood and were struck by the fact that L.L. Bean publicly acknowledged all of their stakeholders, one of which was the community.

“It was a useful way to think about it as we were starting out,” said Steve. A business should be “committed to the schools, the community, and we needed to think of ourselves as longtime neighbors.”

Throigh the years, Brown Goldsmiths has thrived because of their commitment to customers and community, including decades of strong support for Freeport Community Services.

Judy was the first president of the Freeport Merchants Association, known today as FreeportUSA. Remembering the fire in 1980 that devastated Freeport’s downtown area, Judy recalls, there was “a pervasive sense that [residents] had lost their village.”

She began to work with FCS and other businesses and community members to “see opportunities, share concerns and offer support” as they faced rebuilding. They collaborated to address many community needs, spearheaded a holiday gift program, and even organized community events to bring residents and businesses closer together.

The Browns have always supported the FCS White Nights gala.

“I remember driving in the dense fog to the very first one at the Stone House,” said Judy. “It is inspiring to attend every year, and really fun – you run into people and catch up.”

It is easy to run into the Browns at Freeport Community Services many other times, as well. In recent years, Judy and Steve have held their company gatherings at the center because it is “such a beautiful space.” Team members were asked to bring donations to the FCS food pantry. The Brown family and many friends also attend Thanksgiving dinner held at the community center every year.

Judy and Steve are quick to praise the wonderful work and community service of other members of the their team. Anne Parker, a Brown Goldsmiths associate for 15 years, has supported Freeport Community Services in many ways. Anne served on the White Nights Planning Committee, volunteers for the Thanksgiving dinner every year, and from time to time evaluates jewelry donated to the Thrift Store. For eight years Anne organized a food drive in her Spar Cove neighborhood to help supply the food pantry. “Freeport Community Services is very special. I get back so much more than I give”, said Anne. “I encourage people to learn more about it. It is an eye-opener for this community.”

Judy echoed Anne’s thoughts.

“FCS is an inspiring organization. It has changed in such a vibrant way. It is amazing the young people who are stepping up to participate – that shows vibrancy and health.”

Steve describes Freeport Community Services as a “down-to-earth” organization. He likes that “people from all walks of life can work together – you can trust the organization.”

FCS would like to thank Steve and Judy for the trust they have shown FCS for so many years – we are so glad you are friends of FCS.

Additional support for this series was provided by our wonderful White Nights sponsors: Bath Savings Bank; Curtis Thaxter, Attorneys at Law; Pierce Atwood, LLP; Warren Construction Group; Zachau Construction; Anonymous; Apogee Adventures; Bayview Pediatrics; Brown Goldsmiths; Cartmell & Associates of Keller Williams Realty; Clark Insurance; Downeast Woodworks; Kevin McElroy, Fine Violins and Bows; H.M. Payson & Co.; and Taggart Construction

Steve and Judy Brown have had a longtime commitment to Freeport Community Services.

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