Houston Tops 2020 Community
57th Annual Conference celebrates
New Perspectives Through a Virtual Conference
Virtual. (October 25, 2020) – Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) honored 5 communities, three youth groups, two community leaders and three youth leaders at their 57th Annual Conference held virtually on Oct. 25. Nearly 60 volunteers, community leaders and youth from across the state were in attendance to celebrate community and economic development efforts, network with each other and connect with resource providers. The conference was sponsored by Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners of Mexico, MO, and an anonymous Friend of MCB sponsored the awards portion of the evening.
Within the 2020 theme “New Perspectives: What’s Next in our Community Story?” attendees discussed how to think differently about their communities as they work to make them places where youth and adults alike want to build their lives especially in this year of crisis.
The interactive keynote speaker was Kyle Scheele, an inspiring author, speaker, and cardboarder who has challenged tens of thousands of students across the nation to build a better world. Breakout sessions included FUNdraising, festivals, engaging local elected officials, starting a youth community betterment group, MCB’s new assessment tool, preserving your community’s story, and youth learning to lead.
The community of Houston, Mo. won the Gene Speichinger Community of the Year Award. This award recognizes the outstanding community amongst those entered in the 2020 awards program. MCB volunteer judges and board members commented that “The Houston community is definitely working to do great things every year to improve life in Houston. It is evident that leadership is working year-round and it is great to see so much support from the youth. Covid-19 hit everyone hard and fast. Jumping into action to help each other is what small town America is all about, making them great places to live. The Houston community did a great job supporting that to demonstrate, ‘We are all in this together.’”
The Lamar Youth Group won the J.C. Smith Youth of the Year Award. This award recognizes the outstanding youth community betterment group as chosen by the MCB volunteer judges and board members. The judges were impressed with how involved the youth were and how they select and plan out their own projects, particularly the amazing work of the American flag citizenship project.
“The Missouri Community Betterment Board congratulates all the volunteers from our communities throughout the state,” MCB President Kat Morgan said. “These dedicated individuals and their collaborative community and economic development efforts continue to make Missouri’s rural communities a place people want to call home.”
New to the judging procedure was the MCB Community M.A.P Tool which emphasized the Measuring and Awarding Progress Recognition Program. It is a tool designed to help community leaders in grassroots volunteer and career positions alike assess where communities are on a wide range of promising practices for overall community health and wealth. Though the tool is not prescriptive, it encourages communities to consider assets and opportunities in categories of 1. People; 2. Plans of Action; 3. Financial Resources, Infrastructure and Assets; and 4. Quality of Life.
Community and Individual award winner listing