Nothing Like A Winner!!
The group whose presentation won the Chair City All-America City honors returned Monday from Denver to cheers and confetti showers.
Thomasville was one of 10 cities nationwide to receive the National Civic League’s All-America City Award, which annually recognizes communities for civic engagement and community-wide initiatives.
Tony Hyde, a banker who served as a co-chairman of the award application committee, said the 30-member group showed judges that Thomasville is a city that cares about people.
This year the All-America program spotlighted community-wide initiatives that honor and benefit veterans and military families. Thomasville, a city of 27,000, submitted three projects for the award — Memorial Day activities, the Children at Play initiative and Project Divine Intervention, which helps children who are economically challenged.
“Our project was all about people,” Hyde said. “That was our focus. We helped homeless children in schools and others. No other city we saw honored fallen soldiers for the year. We showed we honored veterans.”
The committee established by the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce applied for the award. Doug Croft, chamber president, said the group took the mission seriously.
“We spent a weekend celebrating you,” Croft told the cheering gathering at the chamber office. “This is a great thrill for us."
The city will receive a plaque in about a month. For now a certificate confirms the designation. 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.
Hundreds of civic leaders and community volunteers met in Colorado, last week to exchange ideas and present their stories of positive change to a jury of civic experts.
“We went out there as family and we will be family from now on,” said Mayor Joe Bennett.
Members of each city delegation described in detail their community’s response to a range of challenges.
The Thomasville team performed well and presented a powerful message, Bennett said.
“We had the jury in our hands,” Bennett said. “We had three wonderful stories. About the fifth or sixth team announced was Thomasville, North Carolina. We are proud we represented North Carolina and that three towns were named. That speaks well for North Carolina.”
The city last came close to winning the award 10 years ago. The team also learned about projects from other winners that could help the city move forward, Bennett said.
Many residents will see the designation as historic.
“When your are named an All-America City, you are always an All-America City,” Bennett said. “Signs will be there to remind people coming into the city. We can hold our heads up now.”
Honor: More than 600 cities have earned the distinction since 1949.
Nominated: A total of 20 communities were nominated this year.
Winners: Greensboro and Winston-Salem have won the award twice in the past and High Point has won it once.