Article by Charles Kelly - Jun. 13, 2008 06:19 AM
The Arizona Republic
Goodyear's success in the All-America City Awards national competition last week in Tampa, Fla., showed the strength of the city is in its citizens, city officials say.
Goodyear residents of all ages played important roles in highlighting the city's strengths in its winning effort.
The effort began in late 2007, when then-Goodyear Chief of Staff Laurie Hillebrands learned of the All-America City program sponsored by the National Civic League. She enlisted the help of a friend, Goodyear resident Jennifer Barber, who had much broadcast journalism experience, to help write the application. They brainstormed with Anne Hansen, a volunteer in the G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) organization. Charles Marshall, Vice President of the Villages at Estrella Mountain Ranch Community Association., also helped with the application.Others playing key roles in the effort were Goodyear citizens Brenda Bernardi and Kim Jones and city staffers Nicole Neill and Susan Petty.
The All-America City Awards effort culminated on the final day of the competition in Tampa, Fla., last Friday. Sunny Shim, 15, a student at Desert Edge High, led the Goodyear delegation in this chant as it marched in:
"We are from Goodyear, Arizona.We live in the West Valley, Mountains, sunsets and family.Goodyear is the place to be!"
At the Monday City Council meeting, Mayor James Cavanaugh recalled the moment, and the strong representation of Goodyear citizens in the delegation of more than 30 people.
"That said much to these judges, that the town is led by its people," Cavanaugh said.
Goodyear was among 10 winners in the competition. Others were Cerritos, Calif.; Aurora, Colo.; New Haven, Conn.; Kissimmee-Osceola County, Fla.; Gladstone, Mo.; St. Louis Region (Missouri-Illinois); Lenoir, N.C.; Reidsville, N.C.; and Akron, Ohio.
Goodyear's entry in the competition highlighted the city's leadership and collaboration with neighboring cities on the early widening of I-10, the city's successful recruitment of private universities and its resolution of problems at the Skate Park between BMX riders and skate boarders.
Goodyear plans to feature its All-America City award in promoting the community.
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