Tonawanda News

April 11, 2014

Kenmore named a finalist

By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Village of Kenmore has been selected as a finalist for the National Civic League’s All-American City Award. 

The Kenmore Village Improvement Society applied for the national status through two competitive rounds in October and March, in what the group’s president, Melissa Foster, said could go a long way toward future economic development. 

Nearly a dozen representatives from the village will now head to Denver, Colo. in June for a final presentation among 25 other municipalities across the nation, 10 of which will be awarded the recognition. More than 100 municipalities initially applied for the award. 

The award, which is also open to counties, towns and villages despite its name, recognizes the grassroots efforts of community problem solving and how those efforts are handled collaboratively to achieve results, according to the League’s website. 

Foster said her organization prepared four essays that were submitted to the committee last month and underscored the village’s innovation, engagement and teamwork, among other traits, to address current challenges. 

“We’re thrilled about it,” Foster said. “We worked very hard on it. Some of the big city’s have paid staff who work on this for a long time. We did it with volunteers.” 

Foster noted that if the village were to make to the top-10 selection, the status as a “All-America City” could bring national attention, help bolster future grant opportunities and possibly help draw business to the area. Only one other town, Canton, located in the Adirondack region, was selected as a finalist in New York.  

KVIS will now turn its attention to the difficult task of raising the funds for the final presentation in Colorado, a three-day affair in mid-June that Foster said will require about 12 village residents and cost approximately $10,000. Fundraising efforts will kick off in the coming weeks. Mayor Patrick Mang, village trustees and KVIS members will likely be among those who make the final pitch to the League, Foster said. 

“We need to make the presentation as good as possible,” she said. “We have to do a lot of preparation and practice for that. It has to be rehearsed like a Broadway play and sort of reiterate what we said in our essays.” 

The awards will be determined on June 15.