If you haven't seen the photos or watched the videos of Gothenburg's All-American City presentation and award acceptance in Denver over the weekend, you're missing out. (And where have you been, by the way?)
The hours of preparation for the application and presentation, the teamwork used to craft just the right message and the time, energy and effort that each member of our delegation put in has paid off in a big, BIG way. This national stamp of approval is sure to affect Gothenburg not just in 2019 but certainly in the years to come.
I would be lying if I said earning an All-American City Award was easy. Gothenburg was up against cities many, many times larger than we are. For instance, the Lancaster, Texas, delegation had more people than Gothenburg High School's 2019 graduating class, and they all wore matching T-shirts, a different color each day of the three-day conference. Talk about intimidating. Edinburg, Texas, brought a full mariachi band with dancers, along with costumed participants representing their various cultural celebrations. We wore plain red polo shirts and quietly carried black and white posters.
In the end, though, it wasn't about the song and dance or drum line or elaborate dress. It wasn't about the size of the delegation or the size of the city. It was about the message and the accomplishments and the way the projects fit the theme, "Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Civic Engagement."
The judges referred to Gothenburg as "small but mighty." Fellow participants in round-table discussions seemed amazed at what Gothenburg has accomplished with such a small population. The judge who presented our award called Gothenburg a "small community that reaches big goals." If they only knew ...
The new YMCA at Gothenburg Health, the food access initiatives and the Gothenburg Early Childhood Learning Coalition are just the tip of the iceberg of the collaborative, community-minded work going on in our city every day. Young people, old people, retired residents, working mothers, high school students, wealthy homeowners, new parents struggling to survive — they all come to the table and they all get heard. Everyone is important and everyone matters, no matter what the cause. All means all. It's "The Gothenburg Way."
I encourage everyone to take advantage of this All-American City Award. Use it when you're promoting your business or organization. Tell your friends and family about it when they ask why you choose to live in our small town. Talk about it to folks who might be looking to move their family or business here.
Defined by Miriam-Webster, All-American means "selected as one of the best in the U.S. in a particular category at a particular time."
Gothenburg IS an All-American City. Now the rest of the nation knows it too.
Click HERE the presentation video.
Click HERE to see the crowd reaction when Gothenburg's award was announced.
Click HERE to read the National Civic League's press release about winners.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.