In two weeks, a team of folks from Morris will be in Atlanta, to give a 10-minute presentation to a jury which will name the next 10 All America cities. A lot of work has gone into preparing this presentation and while we think we've got a winner, we're not the judges. But it's hard not to look at the other 29 finalists for the title and think we're a bit out of our league. Honestly, what would make Morris more of an All-America City than Stockton, Calif. or Pembroke Pines, Fla.? On the other hand, where would you rather live?
For quite some time, we in rural Minnesota have often suffered from the "grass is always greener" mind set. The next town down the road is better because they're bigger and that means they have more stuff, and thats what it's all about, right? Sometimes, perhaps a bit too often, we forget to look at what we've got in the rush to wish for something else.
I've heard some naysayers commenting that it would be much cheaper and tremendously easier to say why bother? and skip the trip to Atlanta. Sure, doing nothing is always easier. But that's not how we do things in Morris, now or ever. Many good people have, for many years, devoted considerable time, effort and financial resources to making Morris a better place to live and work. Efforts have focused on providing quality schools, good jobs and a variety of recreational opportunities. And for the most part, the efforts have been successful. We will be graduating over 100 bright young people from our high school this week. Earlier this month, nearly 370 students received their degrees from the University of Minnesota, Morris. We are celebrating 100 years of community service provided by the Eagles Club. Plans are underway for another spectacular Prairie Pioneer Days and the Stevens County Fair promises to once again be an event to remember, as it has been for 130 years.
So, why bother? Because the moment we don't bother, we won't have a community to be proud of any more. Because we already are an All America City by our standards and we ought to get recognition for the work already done. So, join us tonight for the community fundraising picnic, enjoy a meal and if you can, share some of the good fortune Morris has provided for you with those working to let the rest of the country know that we are an All-America City.