On June 14th, the National Civic League announced Marquette
County, Michigan, as one of ten All-America Cities at the 54th
Annual All-America City Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The
designation is the culmination of several months of effort headed
by the Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) and involving
a variety of community projects and organizations.
The All-America City Award is a 54-year-old program of the National
Civic League recognizing civic excellence, annually honors 10
communities that best exemplify the spirit of grassroots citizen
involvement and cross-sector collaborative problem solving. Since
the program began in 1949, more than 4,000 communities have competed
and nearly 500 communities have been named All-America Cities.
The Marquette County effort began with a written
application which highlighted three projects at work in Marquette
The Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) which helps all county
residents to have access to medical care; the Noquemanon Trail
Network, a county-wide non-motorized trail system and W.E.A.V.E.,
a collaborative alliance and partnership designed to care for "at
risk" youth in our community.
Marquette County was one of the 30 finalists
from around the country that had an opportunity to showcase
their community to
a panel of 10 judges in Washington, D.C. The 40 member delegation
from Marquette County was comprised of government officials,
neighborhood activists, business leaders, volunteers and youth.
In addition to the 3 major projects, the group discussed a variety
of community assets that included: an extremely positive relationship
between Northern Michigan University and our local community;
the Lake Superior Community Partnership, a truly unique "best
practices" approach to economic and community development;
a major facility built for the expansion of our arts and culture
community constructed with equal funding from government and
contributions from individuals; and the tremendous volunteerism
that permeates the community through it's service clubs, churches,
and other civic organizations.
In addition to Marquette County, 9 other communities were selected
as 2003's All-America Cities: Greater Racine Area, WI; Des Moines,
IA; New Haven, CT; Corpus Christi, TX; Miami Beach, FL; Laurinburg,
NC; South Sioux City, NE; Tempe, AZ; and Wilson, NC.
Monsignor Louis Cappo, chairperson of the Lake
Superior Community Partnership and a member of the delegation,
accepted the award. "On
behalf of the Marquette County Board of Commissioners and the
Lake Superior Community Partnership, I would like to express
our pride in the people of Marquette County. We've faced many
tough struggles during these past six years including closure
of an air force base, a struggling iron industry, and now the
recent flood. To win the All-America City award is truly a testament
to the can-do spirit of the people in our area. We've formed
a partnership with business, industry, government, and the non-profits
to better our community and the award validates the strength
of that partnership. The Medical
Care Access Coalition, the trail
network, and W.E.A.V.E. are prime examples of the accomplishments
that come from working together. We are a community of people
who truly care about making a difference and providing a great
quality of life for all of our residents in this beautiful forested
area along the shores of Lake Superior."
"Being the Lead Sponsor of Marquette County's All American
City efforts was an easy decision for us", commented Bob
Mahaney, Co-Owner of Centrup Properties. "We live in a dynamic
and beautiful community full of special people that deserve national
recognition. Marquette County has a bright future and the national
exposure gained from this award will be a great boost in achieving
our community's potential. We appreciate the tremendous efforts
of community leaders and the volunteers that made this possible."
Plans are currently underway on how to use the
new designation to best benefit Marquette County. For more
information on the All-America City Award, visit the National
Civic League's website at www.ncl.org or call the Lake Superior
Community Partnership at (906) 226-6591.