Our city just took part in a rigorous national competition and succeeded in garnering a highly esteemed designation – the All-America City Award! I would like to thank the hard working group that worked tirelessly to help the City of Kenai achieve this success as well as many other members in the community that contributed to the effort:
The All-America City Presentation Group comprised of Co-chairs Christine Cunningham and Mary Joe Joiner; Kenai City Manager Rick Koch; Kenai Chamber Executive Director Carol Bannock; Kenai Cultural & Visitor Center Executive Director Natasha Ala; Kenai Police Chief Gus Sandahl; Metal Magic Owner Scott Hamann; Caring for the Kenai Founder Merrill Sikorski, City of Kenai Legal Assistant Jacqueline Van Hatten, Student Representative Hannah Coffman; 2011 Caring for the Kenai winner Kelsie Leaf and Creed Sandahl and Leah Johnson, who played bears. Special thanks to the following: Tesoro; Lynden Transport; Metal Magic; Jenness Graphic Design; KCHS Leadership Group; Steve Hansen, Jaylene Peterson-Nyren, Kenaitze Indian Tribe; Robert Ruffner, Kenai Watershed Forum; Nate Kiel and the Brown Bears for use of The Grizz; State Farm Insurance, Kenai; Michelle Alexander, who crafted the City’s quite square; Bob Molloy, Kenai City Council; Carol Ford, Kenai Performers; Mary Bondurant, Kenai Municipal Airport; Dorothy Gray, Russian Orthodox Church; Larry Lewis and Elizabeth Manning, Alaska Department of Fish & Game; Elsie Ward of Broken Walls for use of ‘River of Life’ song; Friends of the Library; Funky Monkey; Grannie Annie; Dennis Gifford; Jonathan Maracle, writer of song ‘River of Life’; Phil Smith; Alex Koch; Kristie Babcock, State Farm; Jason Carol, Tesoro; Tina Baldridge; Joe Moore, Kenai City Council; Liisia Blizzard, Kenaitze Indian Tribe; Mary White, Kenai Municipal Library; Carol Freas, Kenai City Clerk; Randy Peck, Tesoro; Sandra Lewis, KCHS; Sasha Lindgren, Kenaitze Indian Tribe; Steve Hansen, City of Kenai Shop Department.
The collaboration involved in winning the All-America City award is a shining example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sector work together towards a common goal. It is this spirit of collaboration that helped to tell Kenai’s story to the judges. All involved are to be commended for a job well done. Kenai is proud to have been selected to represent our nation as an All-America City of 2011!