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Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 16, 2016

Beaverton Wins 2016 Community Excellence Award

 

MACKINAC ISLAND, Michigan – The small community of Beaverton was honored with the Michigan Municipal League’s 2016 Community Excellence Award on Sept. 16 during the League’s Annual Convention on Mackinac Island.

The peer-nominated Community Excellence Award (CEA), affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships. It’s the highest and most prestigious award bestowed by the statewide League. The winning community receives a large cup trophy that they get to have on display for the next year. Last year’s winner was the City of Westland.

Beaverton, located in northern Michigan’s Gladwin County north of Clare and Midland with a population of just under 1,100, won for its innovative, volunteer-driven effort to save a vacated two-story old school building and turn it into the now vibrant Beaverton Activity Center.

“There were literally thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteer hours to put this whole project together,” Scott Govitz, former Beaverton mayor and current president of the Beaverton Activity Center. “So for all of us who were instrumental in putting this project together with a whole lot of other community members, this is a great source of pride. So not only do we have a new center for the community now we have recognition by winning the Community Excellence Award.”

Govitz particularly thanked the “red vests,” which is the affectionate nick-name for the red-vest wearing volunteers who serve the center and helped get it opened. A group of red vests attended the Convention to explain the project to Convention attendees.

“I have to give credit to the red vests, they are the heart and soul of what we do. They are our volunteers day in and day out and they were here to take care of business. I also think our story is compelling. We’re a small community and what we were able to accomplish from the stand point of bringing an entire project to fruition using all volunteers and making it happen is an inspiring story and also something other communities can replicate.”

The project breathed new life into the former school building and quickly became a focal point and hub of activities in the community. It has brought about new and first-ever cultural events and sporting activities for youth and adults. It created meeting rooms that were nonexistent, a place to exercise, and hold programs and classes. It’s also a library, fitness center, health center coffee shop, heritage center, pre-school, after-school gathering place, summer recreation location, place for worship, kids programming, adult programming, historical society and more.

“In short, it’s been everything and more that took four solid years and thousands of volunteer hours to plan, fundraise and over another year to reconstruct,” Govitz said.
Beaverton, which competed in the strength and structure category, was one of four finalists in the statewide Community Excellence Awards (CEA) competition. The other three finalists were:

The four finalists were among 13 projects, programs, and initiatives involving 14 Michigan communities vying for the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA)—the most prestigious Michigan Municipal League honor.

This year’s Race for the Cup began in the spring and projects were divided into four categories: Funding for the Future, Michigan in Motion, Place for Talent, and Strength in Structure. Each entry was ranked by a panel of judges, and the public had a chance to weigh in through an online voting component. The projects’ final score was based on the judges’ ranking (75 percent) and the online voting (25 percent). The top entry in each category advanced to the final round.

Representatives from the final four presented their projects at the League’s 2016 Convention on Mackinac Island, Sept. 14-16. After hearing the presentations, the 500-plus Convention attendees voted for their favorite project, with Beaverton receiving the most votes. Beaverton was awarded the coveted CEA Trophy Cup at the conclusion of the Convention Friday, Sept. 16. View past CEA winners here.

For photos of the CEA winners go to the “Award Winners and Honors” album in this Michigan Municipal League collection on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/collections/72157673505540116/. Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Michigan Municipal League/mml.org.

For additional information, contact Matt Bach, Michigan Municipal League media relations director, at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.

 

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