The response had to be overwhelming with the constant awareness you gave to the Knight Cities Challenge.
Initially back in September when I first heard about the grant competition, a friend of mine from Naples, Florida, Jill Erickson, was visiting and we began discussing ideas about what would make Myrtle Beach a more vibrant place to live and work. With my background in public relations and her experience in broadcast promotion, we agreed on an idea.
And that was that. Writing a grant proposal would take time and resources, so this idea was slowly put on the back burner. We also realized that there were numerous entities that would be submitting ideas that would benefit their organizations and how can one individual compete with these businesses and organizations. Although I have never considered myself an activist, with the right nudging, I could become titled.
A month passed. Then on Nov. 6, an editorial appeared in The Sun News titled, “Challenge Seeks Ideas for Challenge.” This time I knew it was a sign, and that I was being addressed with the Kennedy quote, “Ask not what your country (and I inserted Myrtle Beach here) can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Time to put it on the drawing board again.
The Cities Challenge grant asks the grantee to address one or all of three drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talent; expanding economic opportunities; and creating a culture of civic engagement. Our idea was online to address all three drivers.
A third article appeared in The Sun News and I became fired up again and this time I solicited the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and was unsuccessful in obtaining any assistance. I was even more convinced that with the three days left before the Nov. 14 deadline, I was going for it.
The idea has been submitted and thanks to The Sun News with their nudging, I am now a certified activist.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.