Two local townships receive national award

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 9/16/97.

About 70 small-town government leaders from 28 states converged on Washington, D.C., Sept. 5 to accept honors for their outstanding efforts to improve their primarily rural communities.

Norvald Sogge, Eden Lake Township, and LuVerne Becker, Manannah Township, were among the area leaders recognized by the National Center for Small Communities and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. with the American Hometown Leadership Awards.

Each award winner received a Wal-Mart Economic Development Grant of $1,000 to $5,000 to apply toward a community improvement project in his or her town. Sogge and Becker each received $1,000 awards.

ďThe winners of the American Hometown Leadership Award demon-strate not only outstanding leadership qualities, but also the creativity and initiative needed to bring a measure of excellence to their work,Ē Tom Halicki, executive director of NCSC, said. ďTheir ability to envision great things for their community, and their ability to translate that vision into action, makes them deserving of our highest honor.Ē

Wal-Mart awards two million dollars annually in economic development grants to support local efforts to attract new business.

This award recognizes outstanding civic accomplishments by individuals who serve on a local governmentís elected board, council or advisory committee in a community with a population of fewer than 25,000 people.

Sogge said he has no idea how Eden Lake Township will use the money. The board will probably be talking over ideas at their Sept. 30 meeting.

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