The Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year Awards are co-sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Governors Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism (GACNSV), the Arkansas Department of Human Services - Office of Communications and Community Engagement, Channel 4, and the Arkansas Municipal League. These awards are designed to offer thanks and a reward to the communities as a whole (rather than as individuals within the communities) for their volunteer effort in serving their neighbors. Winners typically have overcome obstacles such as limited funding for projects, taking a new approach to an old problem or recovering from natural disasters. Cities that have been honored in the past can be recognized again for new accomplishments.
Nominations are solicited each summer, with a nomination period extending through early fall. Communities submit nominations describing their local volunteer activities and these nominations are reviewed by a panel of citizens representing a cross section of the state. Communities that are chosen each year receive signs on two of the town's borders designating the city as a Volunteer Community of the Year for that year. These signs are donated to each city each year by the Arkansas Highway Commission. In addition, the cities, and their volunteer programs are the subject of a feature article in City & Town magazine, which is published by the Arkansas Municipal League. Many local newspapers, television and radio stations, and other media, pick up on the news as well, and the communities do receive a lot of recognition and publicity for their work.
2017 Volunteer Community of the Year Awards
Twelve communities received the 2017 Volunteer Community of the Year Award. The Awards were presented at the Municipal League's Winter Conference in Fort Smith, Arkansas by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Clayton Sorrells of the Governor's Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism, and Amy Webb, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement at the Department of Human Services.
2017 Community of the Year Recipients: Benton, Bentonville, Clarkridge, Clarksville, Everton, Fort Smith, Greenbrier, Jonesboro, Marianna, Mountain Home, Siloam Springs, and Van Buren
2016 Community of the Year Recipients: Benton, Bentonville, Cherokee Village, Clarkridge, Fayetteville, Greenbrier, Heber Springs, Little Rock, Maumelle, McNeil, Mountain Home, and Van Buren.
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