Dedham Savings and Hyde Park Savings have pledged to contribute $5,000 each to fund-raising efforts for Dedham’s mission to become an “All-America City,” according to town officials.
Dedham was recently named a finalist in the National Civic League’s “All-America City Awards.” The award recognizes outstanding civic achievement.
“Since the award recognizes civic engagement across a broad cross-section, it really resonates to have two community banks investing in this effort on behalf of Dedham,” said Karen O’Connell, director of economic development for the town.
Town officials hope to send 40 people to the finals on June 15-17 in Kansas City, Mo. To do this, organizers want to raise $50,000 for airfare, accommodations, meals, and ground transportation for the participants.
“It’s a little bit stressful at this point in some ways to pull it together in a relatively short period of time -- less than two months,” said Town Administrator Bill Keegan. “And it’s pretty significant to raise $50,000 in that time -- close to a miracle.”
Keegan said the response so far has been very positive.
“If we can’t raise the funds, we can’t make our pitch” as an All-America City, he said. “A lot of people do recognize the significance of being named a finalist, and if we can get out there and make our pitch, we have a good shot.”
Dedham is the only New England town of the 26 finalists. It is also the oldest town on the list, said Keegan.
He said the town celebrating its 375th anniversary this year will play into the group’s presentation.
The plans for the presentation have been flowing, said Keegan. One idea is to have the Dedham High School marching band perform. Members of the Dedham Youth Commission plan to drive to Kansas City in a van and perform civic work in communities along the way.
The 10-minute oral presentation will be based on the town’s civic accomplishments mentioned in the application for the award, which include the Dedham Youth Commission’s holiday gift program, the Dedham Square Improvements Project, and the Sustainability Advisory Committee.
Organizers are appealing to the community to contribute funds.
“We would greatly appreciate any and all support from the community and the community-at-large,” said Keegan. “The number one goal is to bring the prize home.”
Sarah Favot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.