CIRCLEVILLE - Mayor Don McIlroy celebrated with the city's youngest citizens on Tuesday in honor of Circleville being named a quarter-finalist in the America's Best Communities competition.
The event at Circleville Elementary School kicked off the Circleville ABC Media Week, which will include similar events at Berger Hospital, Ohio Christian University and the Frontier Communications building in downtown Circleville.
As one of six quarter-finalists in the state of Ohio and 50 throughout the country, Circleville received $50,000 to further develop a comprehensive strategy to accelerate revival of the local economy and improve the quality of life in the community.
The city now has about five months to complete its revitalization plan and compete for the top prize of $3 million to bring its ideas to life.
The America's Best Communities competition is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.
McIlroy expressed his appreciation to the elementary schools students on Tuesday for helping to make Circleville such a great community.
"And now everyone knows Circleville is one of the top 50 communities in the country," he said.
Members of the development committee in attendance at Tuesday's kick-off were Kirk McMahon, superintendent of Circleville City Schools; Amy Elsea, president of the Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce; John Ankrom, city service director; and Ryan Scribner, executive director of Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3).
The committee also includes Dr. Mark Smith, president of Ohio Christian University; Tim Colburn, CEO of Berger Health System; and Chad Davie, a consultant for P3.
Tom Travis, general manager of Frontier Communications, also attended the elementary school kick-off on Tuesday.
Additional public events this week will include an announcement at 6 p.m. Thursday during Berger Health System's "Touch A Truck" campaign from 4 to 7 p.m. at the hospital and a public announcement at 11 a.m. Friday with Frontier executives in front of their building at the corner of North Court and Pinckney streets.
McIlroy said the public is invited to participate in both events and help promote Circleville as one of ABC's Top 50.
The group will then head to Ohio Christian University at noon to share the message during the university's staff picnic on Friday.
America's Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that will provide $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities -- those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented -- will share a total of $6 million in prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.