Thriving in a region that gets kicked to the curb as often as Cleveland and Northeast Ohio does is no easy feat. We always get up, dust ourselves off, and keep going. So, hey, national media, Hollywood, late night talk show hosts, enough already. Our river is burning with a different kind of fire these days.
To contribute to busting the myth that our best days are behind us and tell the real story of what's happening in our region, I thought it would be fun to provide a roundup of local nonprofits that snagged national awards this year. Here they are. If you know of others, or if you have something to say about the award your organization won, please leave a comment. We want to hear from you.
Slavic Village Development Corporation, ParkWorks, and Cleveland Public Art - 2010 Trails and the Arts Award from American Trails
"The Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio boasts the first urban rail-trail conversion in the City, the Morgana Run Trail. The trailhead overlooks Interstate 77 and the thousands of commuters and travelers that use it every day. As part of the public art program for the Morgana Run Trail Slavic Village Development, Cleveland Public Art and ParkWorks collaborated to develop a distinguishing marker for the East 49th Street Trailhead. It was through the amazing cooperation and efforts of these three organizations that this project was possible. For the trailhead, Slavic Village Development was looking for a marker that would be an inspiring piece of artwork while also serving to identify the entrance to the trail.Through this partnership funding was secured by Slavic Village Development from Neighborhood Progress Inc. and ParkWorks through the St. Lukes Foundation. Cleveland Public Art started a call for proposals from local artists, and the collaboration selected the sculpture as the winning piece. Artist Jake Beckman designed a 35 foot tall flower sculpture which is now holding court at the trailhead."
Cleveland Clinic's Center for Continuing Education - Web awards from Strategic Health Care Communications and Health Information Resource Center
Cleveland Clinic's Center for Continuing Education website, recently (Dec. 1, 2010) received awards from two respected health information organizations, Strategic Health Care Communications and Health Information Resource Center, for its content, credibility and ease of use. These distinctions bring prominence to a website that physicians have relied upon for world-class medical content for more than 10 years. The website took top honors for "Best Overall Internet Site" and "Best Healthcare Content" in Strategic Health Care Communications' eHealthcare Leadership Awards and "Best Webcast/Audio" from the Health Information Resource Center's 2010 Web Health Awards.
JumpStart Inc. - State Science and Technology Institute's (SSTi) 2010 Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development Awards
JumpStart Inc. was named [PDF] one of four winners of an SSTi award in the Technology-Based Economic Development category and is recognized as a national model for states and regions investing in science, technology and innovation to grow and sustain their economies and create high-paying jobs. A nonprofit organization creating economic transformation in Northeast Ohio, JumpStart provides intensive entrepreneurial assistance delivered by former successful entrepreneurs, with selective investment in the highest potential companies. Since its launch in 2004, JumpStart has connected with more than 36,000 entrepreneurs, leading to $17 million invested in 49 companies. JumpStart’s work has resulted in a four-year economic impact of $267 million on Northeast Ohio, including the creation and retention of more than 800 jobs.
Cleveland Botanical Garden's Green Corps - 2010 Green America Awards Grand Prize sponsored by Nature Hills Nursery
The Cleveland Botanical Garden's Green Corps is a work/study program for high school students who learn about the earth's and their own potential by transfoming vacant properties into flourishing urban gardens. They were awarded the 2010 Green America Awards Grand Prize for their Lonnie Burten Learning Farm begun in 2006. Expanded dramatically since then and now growing many varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, the Green Corps sells their harvest at local farmers markets. Raised beds are planted for residents to pick tomatoes, collards and other vegetables at no cost.
In addition to nonprofit organizations themselves winning awards, the people who make them go are also awardees this year.