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Toledo Celebrates City As Millennium Community of the Month

By Craig Hardin

The White House Millennium Council last week named the city of Toledo, (OH) the Millennium Community of the Month for December. The honor is bestowed each month on one of the officially designated millennium communities across the nation that are welcoming the twenty-first century with local accomplishments and initiatives.

Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Director of the White House Millennium Council, congratulated Toledo Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner and the city's citizens in a letter saying they are to be commended for "fostering an environment in which citizens can honor the past and imagine the future as we approach the new millennium." An official "Millennium Community of the Month" banner marking the special honor accompanied the letter from McCulloch-Lovell.

At a press conference announcing the news, Mayor Finkbeiner said, "To be recognized as the official Millennium Community representative for the month of December is truly an honor for our community. We are fortunate to be recognized at this monumental point in history. Around the world we are about to become pioneers in a new period and a new time."

The Toledo Millennium Committee meets every two weeks to develop monthly themes and corresponding special events. For example, in April, 2000, to correspond to the theme "Toledo Celebrates the Environment," 2000 children will plant 2000 trees at local parks. And in June, awards will be issued to homeowners for their successes at historic renovations, fulfilling the theme, "Toledo Celebrates Its Neighborhoods."

Other millennium initiatives include opening of a state of the art addition to the Toledo/Lucas County Library; a $28 million dollar renovation of the historic Valentine Theatre, built in 1895, which will serve as Toledo's center for the performing arts; and a celebration of the 100th birthday of the Toledo Zoo.

Organizations involved in the Toledo Millennium Committee are Toledo/Lucas County Library, Toledo Museum of Art, University of Toledo, Toledo International Institute, Center of Science and Industry, Erie Street Market, Board of Community Relations, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Performing Arts Council of Toledo, and the Toledo Blade.

"We look forward to a very exciting year in Toledo, Ohio," said Mayor Finkbeiner.

The Millennium Communities program will continue to accept applications from elected officials throughout the year 2000. Designated Communities receive a certificate from the President and First Lady, are listed on the Millennium Communities website, and granted permission to identify local projects with the White House Millennium Council logo and motto. More information and an on-line application are available at the Millennium Communities website at http://www.millenniumcommunities.org.

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