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This year's seven Regional finalists for the 2011 Community Excellence Award have set a whole new bar for accomplishment, creativity, hard work and ingenuity, and the presentations themselves were extraordinary.
REGION 1Southfield's Field Zone Youth Center won the Community Excellence Award for Region 1 during the meeting in Hamtramck on May 6. They brought an inspiring music video to Convention and delivered it with passion, showing how an entire community rallied and worked for more than six years to build a safe and nurturing environment for their young people.
REGION 2Paw Paw's "Uncork Paw Paw" campaign won the Community Excellence Award for Region 2 during the meeting in East Lansing, and Village Manager Larry Nielsen used humor and hard data to show how a community can develop a multi-level strategy to create a sense of place, market it to the public, and encourage local entrepreneurship.
REGION 3A wintertime event that has given an economic boost to the waterfront community of Ludington won the Community Excellence Award for Region 3 during the meeting in Ludington, and the New Year's Eve Ball Drop truly sparkled in their presentation which featured a wide array of community members describing what the event has meant to them and the community at large.
REGION 4The Cops & Doughnuts bakery, owned and operated by nine Clare police officers, won the Community Excellence Award for Region 4 during the meeting in Saginaw, and one of the retired officers used humor and good-natured wisecracking to show how one small idea can grow and blossom into something that can put small town America on the radar screen for millions around the nation and world.
REGION 5Vassar's “Chill on the Hill” won the Community Excellence Award for Region 5 during the meeting in Marine City, and the video was a great hands-on trip through the community's yearlong effort to build upon a local asset to create a unique celebration that is sure to become a treasured annual event for the entire region.
REGION 6West Branch's “Fabulous Fridays” program won the Community Excellence Award in Region 6 in Kalkaska, and their presentation showed how a unified vision can inspire and engage an entire community to embrace its downtown - one of the keys to building truly sustainable cities for the future.
REGION 7A comprehensive waterfront safety initiative from Marquette won the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 7 Community Excellence Award during the meeting in Marquette, and their powerful presentation was able to convey the depth of commitment, research and application that went into tackling a community problem and turning it into a community asset.
BRAVO to each and every CEA finalist! Regardless of which entry ultimately wins in the voting, there is no doubt that each and every one of these projects is an outstanding example of what our communities can accomplish. We applaud you all!
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