Thumbs up: Grassroots initiative proves its worth to city
When the organization called Create Huntington sprouted up about five years ago as a grassroots initiative, it wasn't exactly clear what it would do and how it might impact the city.
However, five years later, the picture is in much better focus. It's safe to say that the support and networking group has taken many steps in its journey to make Huntington a better place to live, work and play.
The group has served as a cheerleader for the city, urging people to get involved in a variety of efforts. It has been a connector, promoting the sharing of ideas and networking to launch projects that have improved the city's appearance and fostered a more robust arts and dining scene. It has lent its support to entrepreneurial efforts and to the growing local food movement. It has promoted healthier lifestyles.
The result has been seen and felt in the newly painted murals on underpasses, the removal of unsightly graffiti, the growing small business hub at Heritage Station and the growth of events that give local people more things to do and bring visitors to Huntington.
Perhaps the most profound effect has been fueling a more engaged citizenry and greater sense of community pride.
The organization last week conducted its fifth annual recognition ceremony, honoring people who have lent their time, expertise and skills toward improving the city. Thomas McChesney, who helped establish Create Huntington, said the work done by the honorees has indeed made a difference. "When you think about what Huntington was like five years ago, certainly when you think of what it was like 10 years ago, there's just almost no comparison."
That assessment is correct. We applaud Create Huntington for its role in that transformation, and we look forward to seeing more results in the years to come.
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