Thomasville wins All-American City title

Jun. 17, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

They did it! A collaborative effort in Thomasville earned the Chair City the title of All-American City.  The award was announced Sunday night.

Two other cities in North Carolina earned the status too — Dunn and Garner. Only 10 in the nation made it to the top. Other cities which earned the status include  Birmingham, Ala. ; Montrose, Colo.; Dubuque, Iowa; Downey, Calif.; Peoria, Ill.; Owensboro, Ky. and Norfolk, Va.

The team is due back at the Chamber office on Randolph Street about 5:30 p.m. today and hope the community will celebrate success with them.

Their journey has been chronicled through Facebook and Twitter.

The National Civic League named the 10 winners of the 2013 All-America City Awards, an honor given each year to towns, cities, counties, neighborhoods and metropolitan regions for outstanding civic achievement.

According to a press release, the awards program since 1949 has recognized more than 650 communities for addressing local challenges with innovative, grassroots strategies that promote civic engagement and cooperation between the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Hundreds of civic leaders and community volunteers met in Denver, Colo., June 14-16 to exchange ideas and present their stories of positive change to a jury of civic experts. Members of each delegation described in detail their community’s response to a range of challenges, everything from joblessness, to housing deterioration from the mortgage crisis to providing health care for returning veterans. (This year’s awards had a special focus on communities that implemented programs to recognize or assist veterans and military families.)

The 2013 awards celebration opened with a welcome message from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, chairman of the National Civic League Board of Directors.  “Through your applications, preparations and presentations you have already demonstrated the qualities we look for in an All-America City--collaboration, innovation, inclusiveness and a can-do spirit,” he noted in a video statement to the delegates. “In the eyes of the National Civic League Board, staff and All-America City volunteers, every community here is a winner.”

Steve L. Muro, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who gave the keynote speech, described the  presentations as "powerful."

"You’ve gathered around a goal," he told the enthusiastic crowd of civic achievers."You’ve gathered around issues that need to be corrected, and you’ve put your best foot forward. Whether you are city managers are volunteers, you did the best you could to make things change, to make the future better.”

Among the finalists were: Brush, Colorado: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Miami Lakes, Florida; Sarasota County, Florida; Natchitoches, Louisiana; Canton, New York; Folly Beach, South Carolina; The Colony, Texas and Platteville, Wisconsin.

“This is the good news about America’s communities,” said Civic League President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “These incredible community solutions are all around. People across the country are working hard on these issues every day of the year.”

2013 AAC sponsors include The Piton Foundation, The Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Southwest Airlines – The Official Airline of the All-America City Awards, PCL Construction Enterprises, El Pomar Foundation, Greenberg Traurig, Merrick & Company, Google, BBVA Compass, the City of Aurora, Colorado, the City of Lakewood, Colorado, Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, FirstBank, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

For information about the National Civic League, visit   www.allamericacityaward.com.