City of Marshall 2014 All-America City Finalist
City of Marshall 2014 All-America City
Finalist Presentation Team returns home
from finalist juried panel presentation in Denver
The team that traveled to Denver this past weekend representing Marshall as one of the 23 cities nationwide selected as finalist cities for the 2014 All-America City Award returned home on Monday from making their finalist presentation to the National Civic League juried panel in Denver.
The theme of this year’s All-America City Awards was “Healthy Communities” and the 23-member presentation team from Marshall was made up of a diverse cross-section of our community who shared the stories that were featured in the All-America City application submitted to the National Civic League this past March 18.
The application and juried presentation highlighted aspects of our community’s story and history and also shared three Community-Driven Projects that have improved the health of our citizens, economy, and infrastructure in recent years.
The three health-promoting Community-Driven projects that were featured in the winning finalist application were Mission Marshall and Our Community’s Outreach for Health and Helping, Get Healthy Marshall (the plant-strong diet and fitness program initiated by Mayor Ed Smith and his wife, Amanda), and the revitalization of our historic downtown and neighborhoods.
Christina Anderson, who wrote the 2014 All-America City application for Marshall and is chair of Marshall’s All-America City efforts, stated: “What an inspiring weekend our delegation shared with members of the National Civic League and community leaders from the 23 finalist cities from throughout the United States.”
She added: “Our hard-working and dedicated finalist presentation team did an outstanding job representing Marshall at this rigorous competition. Though we were not selected to be one of the 10 out of 23 All-America City Award winners on Sunday, Marshall is so very honored and proud to be a 2014 finalist city and to have the opportunity to share ideas and strategies for progress with such an extraordinarily committed, caring, and talented group of citizens from our national community.”
(Please see attached news release from the National Civic League which provides information about the 10 cities from the 23 finalists that were selected on Sunday, June 15, including Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Brownsville, Texas, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Montgomery, Alabama.)
Jean Birmingham, former City Commissioner and current president of the Harrison County Historical Museum, was a special and beloved member of the Marshall’s 2014 presentation team. Mrs. Birmingham’s late husband, Sam Birmingham, who was the first African-American mayor of Marshall, was a member of Marshall’s 1975 winning All-America City Award presentation team, chaired by Tony Bridge. Mrs. Birmingham stated: “I’m so proud of our city and so proud of our presentation team!”
Misty Scott, Director of Mission Marshall which was one of the featured Community-Driven projects, was a member of the finalist team and stated: “I left Denver with a sense of pride for my home and a renewed sense of gratitude to live in a country where citizens can choose to make a difference in their communities. It’s my hope that being a finalist will serve as a continued call to action for our community to work together for the common good.”
Reggie Cooper, Marshall’s Fire Chief, shared in the finalist presentation his uplifting story of gaining positive health results in reversing his diabetes and losing 50 pounds by taking Mayor Smith’s plant-strong Get Healthy Marshall challenge.
Chief Cooper was enthusiastic about the All-America City event and the presentation team’s accomplishment. He said, “There were some large and very talented cities that have done some amazing work in their communities, tackling some incredible issues and concerns. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent our community. It was an honor representing Marshall this past weekend in Denver. Community pride begins with each individual. I challenge each and every one to get in the game and help make Marshall better.”
Mayor Ed Smith commended the Marshall team and gave special thanks to Christina Anderson for her fine leadership of the All-America City efforts.
Ms. Anderson shared that a video of Marshall’s finalist presentation, videotaped by Will Avery, can be found at http://youtu.be/XDADwofm2M8. The City of Marshall website also has photos and information posted about the All-America City event. Anderson also noted that they will be exploring the possibility of submitting an application next year for the City of Marshall for the 2015 All-America City Award since there has been such strong sentiment by many to do so.
Ms. Anderson stated: “We feel like we can build on the knowledge we gained and the successes we made this year. The volunteer spirit is what makes Marshall strong and we feel Marshall has all the right ingredients for an All-America City.”
She and the Marshall delegation expressed their deep appreciation to the National Civic League and all in our community who have been so supportive of these efforts.