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NEW INFORMATION: Eau Claire awards ceremony group finishes fundraising; begins planning for Denver trip

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The group that's headed to Denver to represent Eau Claire in the 2014 All-America City Awards appears to have the money it needs to pay for the trip.

A delegation of 19 people is planning to go to the awards competition on June 15. Delegation Coordinator Julie McFadden says most of the delegates are sponsored, either fully or partially, by the companies they work for. She says scheduling also helped bring down the cost per delegate, since most will only have to spend one night in Denver. In late April, the city said each delegate sponsorship would cost nearly $1,800. McFadden says now that cost will likely be less than $1,000 per person. The money goes toward airfare and other transportation to the ceremony in Denver, lodging, and other expenses.

In April, the city put out a call for donations for the trip. McFadden says the first meeting for the core team that's going to Denver is on Wednesday. They will start to develop roles for their presentation. The city says becoming an All-America City would mean potential economic and civic engagement benefits.
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All-America City Award Update from the City of Eau Claire/Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce:

Delegation Announced

The Delegation representing Eau Claire in the national competition for the designation of All America City has been selected. The members of our community that will be competing in Denver on June 15th are:
• Jackie Boos, Berit Breed, Catherine Emmanuelle, Lee Heike, Nate Jahn, Cory Long,
Jolie Lyfoung, Julie McFadden, Scott Mundt, Ned Noel, Dale Peters, Kenzi Phillips,
Megan Pickhardt, Barb Powers, Laurelyn Sandkamp, Blia Schwahn, Michael Strubel,
Kelly Taylor, Rachel Vicle

Eau Claire is one of 25 finalists for The National Civic League's (NCL) 2014 All-America City Awards, the country's most prestigious award for outstanding, community-based civic accomplishments. Eau Claire is the only community selected in Wisconsin this year.

Funds Raised

Expenses for the Delegation are being paid by the generosity of employers that are paying for the travel expenses of their employees and cash donations from the following:
• Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.
• Xcel Energy
• Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire
• Individual donations to the "Power2Give" Campaign
• Individual members of the City Council
• Visit Eau Claire.

Benefits of the Award

Benefits of becoming an All-America City include:
• Economic Stimulus: All-America City finalists and winners receive national attention, a
boost for recruitment of industry, jobs and investments. The All-America City status has
helped winners attract new and retain businesses that mean jobs and a stronger tax base.
Winners have also seen an increase in tourism and grants.
• Increased Civic Engagement: The All-America City Award has transformed participants
and their communities. From the application to the competition, this program promotes
hope and energizes people with a 'can-do' spirit. All-America Cities are national models,
inspiring others who face similar critical challenges.
• Provides national recognition that Eau Claire is a great place to live, work and play.

How We Achieved the Nomination

Beginning last September, a group of eight members of the current Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Eau Claire™ class worked with Chamber of Commerce and City of Eau Claire staff, along with many community partners, to develop and submit the application. The Leadership Eau Claire™ program combines leadership skill building with community education, and participants get a bird's-eye view of the issues facing the community and are exposed to involvement opportunities in the community. Leadership Eau Claire™ participants are required to participate throughout the year with a community non-profit organization to complete a
service project--one of the teams this year chose to complete the application process for the All-America City award.

The Leadership Eau Claire™participants are:

Dennison Brower, United Healthcare/Medicare & Retirement
Heather Costley, Mayo Clinic Health System
Matt Hill, Boy Scouts of America, Chippewa Valley Council
Julie McFadden, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Taylor Schaa, Faith Partners for Literacy-Diocese of Eau Claire
Rob Sorensen, Bauman Associates, Ltd.
Kelly Taylor, Dairy Queen
Tyler Tomesh, Citizens Community Federal

Award Criteria

This year's awards have a special focus on successful efforts to address the underlying conditions that affect the health of communities. As part of NCL's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Healthy Communities movement, the All-America City Award spotlights programs that address issues such as obesity, walkable cities, biking, fitness, healthy eating and disease prevention. The communities vying for All-America City status filled out applications listing three examples of successful community change and describing their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation. The finalists will present to a jury of civic experts who select the annual award winners.


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