Being named an All-America City on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif., is magnifying a sense of pride in Maumee that residents and visitors have felt for years.
"I'm really proud that they got it," resident Nancy Graham said. "Maumee deserves it."
Ms. Graham was running errands yesterday with another resident, Ruth Edwards. The women cited the renovation of the Maumee Indoor Theater and the presence of restaurants and other businesses in a convenient setting as qualities that make the city a good place to live.
"It's scenic and it's got it all," Ms. Graham said.
Others are proud of the city's desire to improve itself.
"We've put a lot of work into making it a greater place to live," said Tiffany Harder, a lifelong resident of Maumee.
She said the city can offer her two children anything they find interesting, from summer recreation programs to parks they can get to by bicycle. "The city's all about the kids," she said.
Ellis and Mary Robinson of Holland are active in the Maumee Senior Center and frequently go to Uptown Maumee for lunch. They said the city has many good qualities, including the setting. "I think the location on the river is important," Mrs. Robinson said.
The Robinsons were joined at Georgette's Grounds and Gifts yesterday by 35-year Maumee resident Marcia McCready, who was pleased the city's sense of community was recognized by the judges. "I think it's absolutely wonderful," she said.
Maumee was one of two Ohio cities bestowed the 2006 All-America City honor. Columbus also won the title, but Fairview Park outside of Cleveland, the third Ohio finalist, did not win.
The award, established by the National Civic League in 1949, recognizes communities that have made major progress in meeting residents' needs. The judges considered participation in community projects from government, nonprofits, and businesses, and cooperation with surrounding communities.
Maumee Schools Superintendent Greg Smith, one of the 47 delegates to the competition in Anaheim, Calif., said the weekend's experience gave him a chance to get to know some people better and bring attention to the city. "It was healthy and good to really reflect on what a great community Maumee is," he said.
He said the delegation ran through its 10-minute script four or five times once everyone had arrived Saturday evening, and did a few more run-throughs Sunday morning.
"We all felt comfortable and confident," he said.
Maumee garnered other national recognition with its inclusion last month in Frommer's Best Places To Raise a Family: the Top 100 Affordable Communities in the U.S.
"We're on a streak," finance director David Hazard said.
For all the excitement, the city's reaction was understated, as delegates will be trickling back into town throughout the week. The marquee on the Maumee Indoor Theater simply read, "We won."
City officials are planning a party, possibly to coincide with Independence Day celebrations, Mr. Hazard said.
Mr. Smith said the city officials who worked on the application and the script for the presentation deserve a big thank you. "They just did a tremendous job in organizing this," he said.
Toledo was named an All-America City in 1998 and was a finalist in 2000. Of the 28 cities that have been named an All-America City three or more times, five are in Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.
Contact Elizabeth A. Shack at:
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