Issue 11-8-15 Website - page 3

Anopen letter to theAmerica’sBest Community judges:
TheLeRoyandBergenAmerica’sBest Community (ABC) teamhasbeenonanextraordinary journey for six
months. Ever since theGeneseeCountyEconomicDevelopment Center (GCEDC) alertedus to thisopportunityofferedby
Frontier Communications, our teamhasbeenonamission -­‐ -­‐ amission towin this contest andgiveushope thatwemight
beable to find funding sources tobringgas andbroadband toour twocommunities. Thishasnot beenaneasy journey for
us. Wearea small rural community. Wehavehad toseekpeoplewhoarecommittedanddedicatedandaboveall, people
whounderstand thecritical situationweare in. Forweknow, thatwithout gas andbroadband,wehaveno future. We
cannot attract newindustry, nor canweprovide sustainability for the industry thatwehave. That industry includesour
greatest economic investor -­‐ -­‐ our local farmers. Wearevery fortunate that theGCEDCunderstandsour needs and they
havebeenwithus all along theway.
Our communityhas alwaysbeenable to roll up its sleeves, andget thingsdone. That’swhat happens ina farm
family. They come together ingood times andbad. Everyonepitches in. Everyonevolunteers tohelp. In fact, trying to
raise the$15,000matchmoneywasn’t a challenge. It becamea time toget together andcelebrateour rural heritage. Over
100peoplegathered ina tent in themiddleof analfalfa fieldonawarmbalmynight, listened tomusic, hadaphenomenal
meal of locallygrown food, andopened theirwallets to raise several thousanddollars. As theyhavealwaysdone -­‐ -­‐ our
farmcommunity sustainedus andhelpedusmove forward. And then, agroupofwomen, seeing thatweneededmore
money, organizedagrass roots fundraiser that gaveus another $3,000 toward thematchmoney. OurABC teamcannot
thank thesepeopleenough for their support.
Part of our journeywas to finda consultant toprepareour CommunityRevitalizationPlan. Aswe read through
theproposals, itwas veryobvious that CamoinAssociateswere thepeoplewhoshouldwriteour economic revitalization
plan, but littledidweknowthat our choicewould introduceAlysonSlackandRobCamoin toour team. Theyhavebecome
apart of our team, andalthough their job is complete, theyhavehelpedus seeour community throughneweyes. We
havediscoveredourselves -­‐ -­‐ somegood -­‐ -­‐ somenot sogood -­‐ -­‐ but it hasbeena journeyof discovery for us.Wehave
learned thatwehave somevery important assets. Wehavea strongand reliableworkforce. Our ruralwork-­‐ethic givesus
anadvantage. Wehavenoteworthy–awardwinning– schools andahigher educationprogramthat promises toprovide
thecurriculumand training that is required for our emerging industrial complexes.Wehavecommunity leaders that share
avisionandamission. Wehavecommunitieswithgreat programs for kids, great historymuseums, avibrant RotaryClub,
great health facilities,wonderful natural resources, beautiful vistas. There isunexcelledschool pride.Wehavebeen tested
byadversityandhave survivedandmoved forward. Wehaveagreat location, betweenRochester andBuffaloandonly
minutes fromtheNewYorkStateThruway. Wehave local peoplewhowant to invest inour communitybut -­‐ -­‐ and it is a
bigbut -­‐ -­‐ -­‐wehavealsodiscovered that our future lies in infrastructureand thecost of the installationof that
infrastructure ismuchmore thanwhat our publicor evenprivate investors canbare. Soweare trying to identifyanyand
all sourcesofmoney that canhelpusprepare for our future.
LeRoyandBergenare in this contest towin it. Andwewant you toknow, thatwehaveworkedhard toget to this
point, andwearewilling toworkharder toget to thenext step. Our teamis verydiverse. Wearevolunteerswilling todo
what it takes toshowyou thatweareAmerica’sBest Community.
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