By: Erin Moore—
Devotion. Commitment. Enthusiasm. Collaboration. Inspiration. Inclusivity. These six words only begin to describe Mary Dollison’s legacy in the Whitely neighborhood and Muncie at-large. Her significant contributions to our community were nationally recognized at the 42nd annual Neighborhoods, U.S.A. (NUSA) conference in Omaha, Nebraska, this May.
Mary was a recipient of NUSA’s “Who’s Who in America’s Neighborhoods” award, which recognizes individuals across the country who promote neighborhood development, participation, and collaboration. Mary’s nominator, Heather Williams of Ball State University’s Building Better Neighborhoods initiative and the Muncie Action Plan, noted her key roles in building the Whitely Community Council which boasts 90-100 attendees at its monthly meetings; creating the Motivate our Minds educational enrichment program; securing support from the city, county, area foundations, Ball State, and the local private sector to reopen Whitely’s Roy C. Buley Community Center and restore the historic Shafer Chapel; and partnering with Ball State faculty to create the award-winning “Schools within the Context of Community” teacher preparation program.
The Whitely Community Council’s Year of Color and monthly newsletter also received first-place prizes at this year’s NUSA conference.
The Year of Color, an ambitious series of public and private beautification projects consisting of painting, planting, repair, and public art installation, was awarded the first-place spot in the “Neighborhood of the Year” Physical Revitalization category. The campaign was successful in drawing positive attention to the neighborhood as well as strengthening relationships and pride among Whitely residents. Project leaders Rebecca Parker and Frank Scott presented the Year of Color to a panel of judges at the NUSA conference.
Whitely’s newsletter took home first place in the monthly newsletter category after being evaluated by a jury panel for content, layout, and overall appearance.
Whitely Community Council members, Muncie Action Plan’s Aimee Fant, and Building Better Neighborhoods’ Heather Williams were able to attend the conference in person through the generous support of the Ball Brothers Foundation.
“We share [these awards] with every volunteer involved and with our community partners, among them Muncie Parks Department, Muncie Delaware Clean and Beautiful, Ball State Office of Community Engagement, and the Muncie Action Plan,” said Rebecca. “Muncie is doing great things!
The community is invited to celebrate the Whitely Community Council’s success!
WCC Awards Reception
Monday, June 19
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 E Main St, Muncie)