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Huntington citizens strive for success

America’s Best Community search continues

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It is the final countdown for the America’s Best Communities competition. Members of the community came out Monday to support Huntington and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

Williams told the history of Huntington and city founder Collis P. Huntington to shed light on why the community is in the running to be “America’s Best.”

Three years ago, Huntington was asked to participate in the America’s Best Communities competition. The competition features communities that have a residential population from 9,500 people to 80,000 people. Over 300 communities in the United States chose to put together a revitalization plan for their city to be entered into the competition.

“This is not a competition to show who has everything going perfect for them right now,” Williams said. “The idea is that there are all sorts of things that happen. People have to come together to make sure that they are being resilient, that they are standing together and finding a way to map forward a path of progress for their community.”

Over the past three years, the city of Huntington has won $150,000 of prize money, allowing the community to take that and raise it into $12.7 million dollars. This prize money has created jobs in the community to create growth in the west-side of Huntington and in the Fairfield community.

“Our future is bright. The pathway for what we are going to experience in the next 50 years is being set right here because of your efforts,” Williams said.

Jackson Folwell, a Marshall senior visual arts and graphic design student from Parkersburg, West Virginia, found out about America’s Best Communities through his major and helping the community.

“I think it (Huntington) is very cool. The past year I have gotten more into it the past year. At Marshall, you live in a bubble,” Folwell said. “The Visual Arts Center and Joe Murphy got us really involved in the community, so that’s how I got to see area I never really got to see before. Makes this more special to me.”

America’s Best Communities is sponsored by Frontier, Dish, CoBank and The Weather Channel. Williams will be going to Denver, Colorado to give the final presentation Wednesday. The first-place prize is $3 million and the winner of America’s Best Communities will be announced Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sadie Helmick can be contacted at [email protected]

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