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Pushing to Be All-America

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Cedar Rapids wants to be an All-America City. Its an award from the National Civic League and its given to communities that overcome city-wide challenges and have achieved uncommon results. City officials and local business owners say Cedar Rapids fits right in.

Thanks to the 2008 floods, the City of Five Seasons knows something about bouncing back.

"Oh, I think the story of the flood is truly an All-America City story, said the President and CEO of the Cedar Rapids Visitors Convention and Visitors Bureau Marilee Fowler.

With the New Bohemia District and Czech Village strong, the downtown convention center open and the casino application process nearing its final stages, the city says now is the time to put Cedar Rapids on display.

"We know we needed to make sure we had significant recovery from our flood to show all of the results and we felt like this year was our year, said Cedar Rapids Assistant City Manager Sandi Fowler.

The application process for the award involves telling the citys story in a different way than its been told before. This time, itll be told through its people.

"We want to make sure that we get the best of those stories and let the All-America City judges hear those stories of our residents, said Fowler

Cedar Rapids is looking for stories about arts and culture, neighborhood revitalization, and flood recovery. Stories like Jon Jelinek.

"I lived next door on the first floor, said Jelinek. I was like everybody else, I lost everything."

But Jon, like his neighbors, rebuilt. He made Parlor City a staple of the NewBo District, which itself is a great example of the good that can come from disaster.

The goal for the city is to get people to tell their story and find other people who also have something to share. They hope those folks will be part of the application process that starts in March and goes through the summer.
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