Despite its many challenges and past experiences, we live in a great community.
We live in a community that’s had a rich past and have done a good job honoring that through the murals.
We live in a community that has a lot going to it, not many communities can say they were the home of the Detroit Lyons, before they were the Detroit Lyons.
No other community can say they are the home of Jake Tolliver, Al Oliver, Roy Rogers, Earl Thomas Conley and countless number of other people who have had an impact on America.
Because of its past, in spite of its problems and issues, local leaders have an eye towards the future.
A few weeks ago I got to tag along with Joseph Pratt, Executive Director of Main Street Portsmouth, Adam Phillips, Asset Manager at Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA), Andrew Dodson, local videographer and Shane Runion, local musician as they were filming a music video for the “Portsmouth Song”.
At the request of Pratt and a number of other people, Runion wrote a song about having pride in your community and wanting to leave it better for the next generation.
Runion shares his experience of writing the song of having a hook, before he had the entire song written. One of the first lines he wrote was I’m proud of where I’m from. He said that line was meant to be a rally cry for every small town.
It would be really easy for people to give-up on small towns and proclaim it’s too far gone to fix or even try.
Local leaders have exclaimed they are not giving up on the town. They can no longer stand by as opportunities pass it by. That kind of motivation prompted SOPA to partner with other organizations and take part in the America’s Best Communities Grant Competition.
To enter the competition interested communities had to compose a community revitalization plan detailing what they would do with the prize money.
Officials with the contest must have seen something in Portsmouth’s plan, because in the beginning of the competition there were hundreds of communities seeking the top prize.
Over the course of a few days all of the parts of what would be the video had been shot. Recently I got to view a rough draft of the video and I had goose bumps by the end. Even the rough draft, reassured what I already knew, I’m proud of where I’m from and so are a lot of other people.
The video was put together as a part of the America’s Best Community’s Grant Competition. The video will be released later this week and with be previewed as a part of Portsmouth Day at Great American Ballpark on Sunday.
The America’s Best Communities competition has been narrowed to 50 communities that will present their plans to a panel of judges in Durham, North Carolina, later this month that will determine the top eight communities in the contest.
I have faith that at the end of their time in North Carolina, the delegation will come back with good news and the community will have advanced even further in the competition.
Having faith in your community is a vital part of its success, because of these efforts and many other occurrences, I can confidently say I’m proud of where I’m from, and will you join me?
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT