There is a secret password to Waco engagement

By Ferrell Foster

Raise your hand if you know Ashley Bean Thornton. OK. That’s virtually everyone who, over the past 14 years, have worked to make Waco its best self.

2019 photo of Ashley just being herself

I had lunch with Ashley the other day, and that’s always fun and enlightening. Ashley is the “birth mother” of Act Locally Waco. She has pushed ALW out of the “house,” but it still has her community DNA.

Ashley reminded me of something. She always wanted ALW to be about “informed engagement.” It was not to just be a bulletin board of what is going on in Waco; it was to help people learn ways to get engaged in our community.

I’m going to lead ALW for a while, once again, and I want to keep Ashley’s words uppermost in my mind. Anyone leading ALW only has a limited amount of time to devote to it, and that goes for me, as well. So, while we can’t do everything people might like, we want to push forward information that promotes community engagement. 

And ALW is not the only local source for such info. We love our local newspaper, KWBU 103.3 FM, and a bunch of local websites and media outlets.

From ALW’s start, people in the community have helped contribute content. I encourage you to help us out. Send information, especially suggested blog posts, to us at [email protected].

Please partner with us. The secret password to Waco engagement is “Ashley.”

Ferrell Foster is president of Kortabocker LLC: Communications Built on Caring. He is a former member of the Act Locally Waco Board of Directors and has helped post information to ALW at different times. He is also the former care and communications specialist with Prosper Waco. Contact ALW and Ferrell through [email protected]


  1. Terry Wright (Current Past President of Baylor Lifelong Learning) on September 2, 2022 at 4:38 pm


    Enjoyed having the opportunity to meet you in your last days at Prosper Waco and your help in getting the ALW posting for Baylor Lifelong Learning’s Bob Darden presentation was greatly appreciated.

    It was great to go the Events at ALW today and see such a robust list!

    • Ferrell Foster on September 4, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Thanks for the note, Terry. It was good to meet you in person, as well. Have a great day.

  2. Linda Howell on September 2, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Love the article! I find the Calendar helps me get involved and find what actually goes on in town. It has been well organized and very informative, not just about events but about the many organizations in the Waco area that cannot afford paid advertising. Without Act Locally, I would sit at home & watch TV, but instead I fill up my calendar with Lifelong Learning Events, Community Concerts, Theater, Cultural Arts Festivals, National Night Out locations and the many non-profit FUNdraisers around the county!

    • Ferrell Foster on September 4, 2022 at 11:09 am

      This is such a great note. If ALW can help you and others to get engaged, then we are being the kind of community service we desire to be. Stay in touch and let us know when we do well or when we drop the ball. Have a great day!

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