Here, these leaders have a common goal to work together and strive to improve the Cleveland and Bradley County community.
The United Way of Bradley County is a nonprofit organization that partners with many other nonprofits to essentially all work together in unison, yet with their own missions and in their own way.
Matt Ryerson, president and CEO of United Way of Bradley County, said, “Working with both the Greenway and MainStreet Cleveland fits into United Way’s mission of facilitating collaboration to positively impacting our community.”
In a way to demonstrate such collaboration, MainStreet Cleveland and the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway display banners on the major thoroughfares of downtown Cleveland and on the Greenway itself.
These banners are all sponsored by businesses, for-profit and nonprofit organizations within the community that collectively share the common goal of improving the community in which we live.
“The banners create unity and a sense of belonging to the community, while bringing color to the main streets of Cleveland,” said Sharon Marr, director of MainStreet Cleveland
The banners that are currently being hung in the main streets of Cleveland will remain until the end of September and will be replaced in November with a new set of banners. There is a total of 55 banners displayed in downtown and 45 of those are currently sponsored. The banners on the streets of Cleveland are seasonal and are changed about two to three times a year. MainStreet Cleveland is a nonprofit organization committed to improving all aspects of the downtown or central business district area.
“We work with so many of our nonprofit organizations in our community, and this is just one way we can show our support for both MainStreet Cleveland and the Greenway,” said Ryerson. “Our offices are downtown, on Ocoee Street, so, of course, we fully support the work of Sharon and all the volunteers involved with MainStreet.
“The Greenway also fits well into how we want to promote health, wellness and quality of life,” he added. “Both organizations are great supporters of our community, and we appreciate all that they do.”
The sponsored banners that are on the Greenway remain for an 18-month period and will stay on the Greenway until approximately April 2015. There are 51 banners on the Greenway promoting the following four areas: heritage, community, health and quality of life.
The Greenway started hanging the banners in 2010 after its chairman, Cameron Fisher, presented members with the idea. The board approved the idea. Many companies are very enthusiastic to have a way to give back to the community and in turn help support each other. These companies quickly jumped on the opportunity to sponsor a banner.
The money given to the Greenway in sponsoring a banner is strategically spent in expanding and improving the Greenway. Such improvements are seen as renovations and restorations to the Greenway, including contributions to community projects in the linear park.
“The funds that we receive from the banner sales are able to give us the freedom to contribute to community causes and projects where we were not able to do before that, ultimately benefit the Greenway,” said Fisher.
It is organizations like the United Way of Bradley County, People for Caring and Learning (which has also contributed a playground area, bathrooms and drinking fountains) and many others that all understand the value of a community that supports each other. This is why the sponsorship of banners on the main streets of Cleveland and the Greenway will continue to be greatly recognized as a noble contribution to the beautiful city of Cleveland, officials said.