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Local

Walldogs visit is the gift that keeps on giving

Streator resident received painted sign from traveling artists

Tom Green received a new business sign recently from three Walldogs artists the Green family hosted when multiple artists visited Streator last year to paint murals.
Tom Green received a new business sign recently from three Walldogs artists the Green family hosted when multiple artists visited Streator last year to paint murals.

When customers from out of town visit Tom Green's financial planning business in Streator he's quick to give them a map of the murals left by the traveling Walldogs group.

And now he also can direct them to his own Green Financial Group business sign.

Green received a gift from three Walldogs who stayed with Green and his wife, Janice, while they were in town painting 16 murals across Streator last summer.

Cam Bortz, Tom Lord and Jake Hertzler, of Mystic Carved Signs in Pawcatuck, Conn., needed a place to stay for the four-day event while they contributed to the many murals and the Green family opened their home.

"They were easy to get along with and good people," Tom said.

They didn't cross paths often as the trio was working on the murals or hanging with friends but the Greens provided breakfast for them and they gathered together on the final day before they departed to Connecticut. The Green family was offered a place to stay if they ever visited the area and they exchanged a couple of emails after the event but that was mostly it.

That was until more recently when a large package arrived in the mail for the Green family.

Inside the 4-by-5-foot-long box was a handcrafted sign reading "Thomas Green, CFP. Certified Financial Planner" and his business phone number accompanied by decorative swirls under the type.

"Janice took one look at it and said, 'Cam did that' before I even found the note," Green said.

Further inside the box was a note stating "I noticed Tom's sign could use an upgrade. So please accept this with our heartfelt appreciation."

Green's current sign had been up since 2001 and the family was quick to replace it with their newly hand-crafted one from their friends in Connecticut that Green discovered was valued at around $4,000.

It was yet another benefit of the Walldogs visit as the Green family saw it as they still cherish the artists' visit.

"It was great for the town. It's been a long time since we had something that everybody could rally around," Tom said. "I think it lifted the mood of the whole town."

He said he sent an appreciative text to the artists and plans to take a picture in front of it, now placed on his business at 107 E. Bridge St.

While its new, flashy draw for potential customers, Green said the sign holds a greater value.

"It was nice," he said. "It looks much nicer and it grabs people's attention but it's also just nice to remember the summer they were here and all the stuff that was going on at the time."

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