In September 2014, Frontier Communications, along with DISH Network, announced the launch of the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across America. Soon after, CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America, announced that it, too, would join the economic development competition as a major sponsor. Since its launch, the prize competition has drawn in more than 250 registered communities across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.
With the deadline to submit an application for America’s Best Communities drawing near, we wanted to take the time to update you on some of the exciting things the America’s Best Communities team has been up to these past few months!
Of the 250 communities that have registered to complete an application for the ABC contest, we are pleased to share that Frontier’s West Region is home to several of these communities. Communities on their way to formally applying for the ABC prize include – but are not limited to – Newberg, Coos Bay, LaGrande and Tualatin in Oregon; Darrington, Kennewick, Pullman, Redmond, Westport and Woodinville in Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum and Valley County in Idaho; as well as Patterson and Susanville, California.
Earlier this year, we welcomed multi GRAMMY® Award winner Vince Gill to the America’s Best Communities partnership. We’re excited to have Gill join our work in revitalizing and providing funding to small and medium-sized communities across our great nation. Gill himself is a native of Norman, Oklahoma, and has often celebrated rural America’s strength and vitality through his music.
“There’s a lot of small-town community in me. I have a small-town mentality. This is where I live, and I want to make it better, I want to be a part of a team focused on supporting the backbone of America,” Gill said at the announcement, affirming his support and participation in the prize contest.
The deadline for America’s Best Communities is quickly approaching, coming up on March 25, 2015. After all of the applications have been submitted, judges will select up to 50 qualified quarter-finalists to be announced on April 29, 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to further develop their plans and proposals. These groups will then have until November 2015 to resubmit their final proposals, from which judges will select 15 semifinalists.
The semifinalists will attend the America’s Best Communities summit in the spring of 2016 to present their proposals. At the summit, eight finalists will be selected to receive $100,000 each to bring their plans to life. The program will conclude in April 2017 when the top three competition winners will be awarded $3 million, $2 million and $1 million respectively. This prize money will then be used to take their creative and innovative proposals and turn them into a reality, helping create real and lasting change — for the better — in some of the rural communities Frontier serves.