The City of Cherokee Village was recognized by EngageAR, an office of the Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Higher Education recently and also received a certificate from the State of Arkansas as a Volunteer Community of the Year.

The certificate was submitted to the city with a letter dated Feb. 16 and was read to the Cherokee Village City Council and public during the Feb. 25 Cherokee Village City Council meeting.

The certificate of recognition is to honor the community for public-private partnership development efforts and for meeting the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“EngageAR believes local problems are solved at the local level. Municipal responses to hunger, unemployment, small business risks and educational challenges have been inspiring. Central to each of these responses is the engagement of local citizens alongside business partners and municipal personnel,” Director Shana Chaplin wrote. “EngageAR in partnership with the Arkansas Municipal League and the Office of the Governor, thank you for your leadership and creativity.”

In her letter to the city, Chaplin also encouraged efforts to continue to build on the foundations already laid by the city and offered assistance.

“Our office is available to provide consultation and support as you develop a city service plan or seek to obtain public-private funding in support of programmatic initiatives,” Chaplain wrote. “Through our State and National AmeriCorps program, we partner with the private sector, nonprofits, higher education and state and local government to leverage resources for our programs and extend more opportunities for Americans to serve.”

During the Feb. 25 council meeting, following the reading of the letter to the public, Mayor Russell Stokes commended the citizens of Cherokee Village for the progress made in recent months.

“I would comment the recognition of the work against the virus [COVID-19] lies at the feet of the citizens of this community… We are not out of the woods yet but if the last couple weeks are any indication our active case count has declined,” Stokes said.

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.