I arrived in Alliance 22 years ago, welcomed by an enormous pink building — Don Pancho’s — on Union and Main, just north of Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home. A lot has changed –most of it for the better.
A naïve young man, I was introduced to Connie Pyers of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce; Harold Kolenbrander and Paula Goldman from Mount Union College (now the University of Mount Union); and Bob Shaffer of The Review. They shared a common message: Get involved, because it will enrich you and help improve our community. I have tried, and this involvement has helped me to grow — yes, still with room to improve. I hope my involvement also has improved the city.
Over the past two decades, I have learned repeatedly what a wonderful community Alliance is. It continues on a path of improvement in physical appearance, organizations and people. It also has made strides, although more slowly than desired, to its image. The “Make It Yours” campaign will educate residents on the positives, get people more involved in noticing and sharing successful attributes, and thus generate more forward momentum for the area. Forward momentum starts from basic acts of kindness — encouragement and education. This allows all of us to play a part. The reward for you: You will feel better about yourself for even the smallest of acts, and the community you live, work or do businesses in will improve.
As the “Make it Yours” campaign unfolds, we will learn amazing success stories that unfold here in Alliance. Many times, success starts from the smallest of seeds — one helping hand or one word of encouragement. This campaign wants to highlight such efforts. Think about Heidi McIlvain at the Alliance Family YMCA, helping many in the community improve their physical fitness, making a positive impact on their lives.
Or Paul Dykshoorn from the Alliance Men’s Challenge, providing assistance to area men to find and keep work. This is a positive story to tell.
Consider Doug Cully of Sanitex, who erected a new building on Main Street, started a business himself, and now employs 15 people. His story is another example of growing infrastructure and jobs in Alliance.
Think of Abigail Honaker of the University of Mount Union, making a difference with the Regula Center and helping the Early Childhood Education Alliance. She’s making positive changes in this community. Success is also Bobbie Monnette, employed at Copeland Oaks and living in Alliance. She is so wonderful to the elderly, a positive influence on everyone she meets.
Also, it’s you. Yes, you can make Alliance more positive. Share or create an uplifting story. You can continue the positive Alliance momentum one story and one act at a time. Give us your ideas at www.AllianceMakeItYours.com.
Chuck Dix is publisher of The Alliance Review.