Eau Claire recognized as 2014 All-America City finalist

A group of civic experts selects the annual award winners. The 2014 All-America Cities will be announced June 15 at an awards celebration in Denver, Colorado. More than 600 communities have received the award since it started in 1949.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire is making national headlines for having one of the healthiest communities in the country.

On Wednesday, the National Civic League announced the finalists for the 2014 All-American City awards. It's a list of the top 25 healthy communities in the country. Eau Claire made it. In order to be recognized on the list this year, the cities had to focus on addressing issues like obesity, fitness, healthy eating and disease prevention. City Manager Russ Van Gompel said Leadership Eau Claire worked with city staff on organizing information for the application, and submitting it to the NCL. Eau Claire had never applied for the awards before.

"What it really means to the city is one of just increased publicity, awareness, and it actually can be an economic development stimulus for the city," Van Gompel said. "It's pretty prestigious, so we're really excited about being a part of that."

Van Gompel says several Wisconsin cities have won the award in the past, but no city in the state has since 2003. He says Green Bay, Racine, Beloit, and Madison are among cities that have applied, and received awards. Eau Claire was the only city in Wisconsin to make it into the top 25 this year.

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