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National Czech Museum and Library Recipient of Service Award
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--
A corridor museum is the recipient of a big award.
The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library will be honored with this year’s national medal for museum and library service.
To top it all off, it was announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama will present the award in Washington, D.C.
Folks in Cedar Rapids' Czech village say the honor is well deserved.
"It was a long wait for the museum to reopen," said John Rocarek.
Rocarek owns and runs Sykora Bakery in Czech village and says part of his success is due to the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.
"Half of our business comes from the tourism that the museum brings so when they weren't around it was bad," he said.
When the library was heavily damaged in the 2008 floods, businesses in Czech Village like John's suffered.
Since then, as these shops re-built their flood damaged businesses so has the library.
"It's a wonderful thing to be back. To be back in our own home, to have the space to do programs and events," Gail Naughton, president and CEO of the museum.
Exhibits had to be rebuilt, records replaced and the building itself moved to higher ground last year.
The re-opening of the museum brought Czech village back to life.
"Some people stop and they always have their little button on so I can tell the more business we get because of the museum," said Mia Suntken owner of Copper Alligator.
In receiving the award, the museum was noted for leading that rebuilding effort in the village.
"We think this says a lot about what this museum has achieved in the four years of coming back and how it helped community recover from the flood," said Naughton and Rocarek agrees.
"The recognition is good and I think it's well deserved," he said.
The museum will be presented with the award on May 8th in Washington D.C.