GOTHENBURG — The Gothenburg community came together late last week to celebrate their place as one of 10 towns across the country to win the All-America City award. Gothenburg is the smallest city to win the award since its inception in 1949.
Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and state Sen. Matt Williams were on hand Thursday to help celebrate and congratulate Gothenburg.
“This is a very special day for Gothenburg,” Foley said, “They have gotten national recognition through this very prestigious award. Gothenburg extols the virtues of what is going on here in Nebraska.”
“To be one of only 10 communities nationwide to receive this designation speaks so well of you,” Foley said about the people of Gothenburg, “The Gothenburg way is people working together and looking out for everyone. There are special things happening here.”
Foley said Gothenburg is a “shining example” of what people can do when they work together. He said the citizens of the community are working together to build the future.
The Gothenburg YMCA facility was a highlight Foley touched on, saying there’s “no community in America with a YMCA this good for the size of the town.”
He commended the lunch program for seniors and backpack program for children as ways Gothenburg takes care of its own.
“Godspeed, you are building a great future,” Foley said.
Williams said 40 years ago, Gothenburg was struggling with the farm crisis and the economic crisis brought on by it. Then a group of people in town “hit the reset button,” Williams said.
“They had a commitment to be involved,” he said.
These efforts produced Dawson Area Development and brought Baldwin Filters, Frito Lay and Monsanto into Gothenburg.
Today, Williams said, Gothenburg is a state leader in developing quality early childhood education and care. He cited the Gothenburg Early Childhood Learning Coalition as a way Gothenburg is getting ahead of the curve and coming up with a solution when there was a need.
“I could not be prouder to be here,” said Williams, a Gothenburg native himself. “Always dream big and we will see the next 137 years be the same way.”
Gothenburg Improvement Company President Nate Wyatt said that during the All-America City event in Denver, one of the judges kept coming back to a phrase to describe Gothenburg: “small but mighty.”
“Our size does not limit our possibilities,” Wyatt said.