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  • Writer's pictureTonja Brown

Grand stuff to celebrate

During last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Grow Grand Island shared in celebrating some exciting community recognitions.


The first was to recognize a milestone for Grand Island in AARP’s Livable Community Age-Friendly network as a result of completing our 5-year action plan update.  Livable communities promote well-being, sustain economic growth, and they make happier, healthier residents of all ages.  Grand Island is joined by over 800 other communities and 10 states pursuing the same goal.  Grand Island was the 311th to join the network; Lincoln just joined as the 845th.


The second was to recognize our recent national ranking announcement from Area Development magazine as a result of a 5-year study of metro areas.  Local media covered the news well, but as a reminder, Grand Island ranked 22nd nationally overall in leading Metropolitan Service Areas, 3rd in core economic indicators, 11th in economic strength, and 30th in wage and salary growth.


As we celebrate these recent achievements, it should also be noted that Grand Island has a long history of success and growth over the past 150+ years. The settlement of our community spurred commerce and growth in the region with the establishment of the railroad and historically famous people such as S.N. Wolbach in the late 1800’s and David Kaufmann in the early 1900’s.  Filming is underway to tell the David Kaufmann story.  You will want to watch this one when it is available.


The Nebraska Chamber began their Hall of Fame in 1992 to recognize business leaders who have made a significant impact in our state.  Grand Island is represented well in the Hall of Fame with Virgil Eihusen (1992), Jan Thayer (2005), Fred Bosselman (2008), S.N. “Bud” Wolbach (2013), William “Bill” Marshall III (2020), Gloria Thesenvitz (2022), and the Hornady Family (2024).  Each has a story of its own worth exploring if you are not familiar with them.


Lastly, Grand Island has been given the All American City Award four times (1955, 1967, 1981, and 1982) by the National Civic League.  It would seem to be time we sought that honor again!


We have much to boast as we look back and look ahead.  Grow Grand Island’s core partners, who are the area Chamber, Economic Development Corporation, and Tourism, along with our Executive Committee made up of business and community leaders, are proud to be part of the continued success of Grand Island. There is more “grand stuff” to come!

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