2010 Recipients

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The Mark of Distinction Program from 2008 through 2011 gave away two $25,000 grants every year to two organizations dedicated to making a positive difference in their communities. Each year the Markham Team selected the top ten finalists and the public voted on them to select the two winners.  Here you can read all about each of our past winners.

2010 Recipients

Cheif Larry D.
Erie, PA

A Quest for a Safer Community
Erie County, PA, is not much different from most counties throughout the United States; a combination of urban, suburban and rual areas with an increasing aging population and, unfortunately, a rising fear of crime. The largest municipality within the county is the City of Erie with a population of approximately 100,000 people. Published poverty statistics place the City of Erie as the poorest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Recently, the city has been besieged by gun-related violence perpetrated by youths. This escalation of violence has significantly impacted the quality of life for middle age and senior citizens who no longer feel safe in their own homes and neighborhoods.
Erie County Cheif Detective Larry D. has created the ErieAlert.com website to assist neighborhood watch groups to inform everyone in the County of Erie of sarety-related events and to facilitate pride in law enforcement by selecting a police officer of the month. ErieAlert.com also uses Twitter under the name of "eriealerts" on their computer and smart phones. ErieAlert.com and "eriealerts" on Twitter are staffed by volunteer efforts.
In a quest for a safer community ErieAlert would like to receive a grant to purchase police radios for neighborhood watch captians to have direct communications with police departments and officers, offer criminal justice scholarships to select students willing to post crime information on "eriealerts" after listening to a supplied police scanner, and make ErieAlert.com a more interactive website for everyone concerned about the Erie County quality of life. All citizens, especially our senior citizens, deserve to feel safe in their community. Technology and volunteers can clearly assist in making Erie County a safer comunity.

Kelly G.
New Orleans, LA

The Freret Business and Property Owner Association (TheNewFreret.com) is a non-profit corporation that seeks to promote business on the Freret Corridor from Jefferson Avenue to Napoleon Avenue, Uptown New Orleans, LA. The organization was chartered to support, promote and attract businesses to Freret Street.
The current membership of 32 businesses on the corridor includes a Coffee Shop, Po-Boy Shop, Hardware Store, Gallery, Boxing Gym and Community center. Targeted after Katrina as an Economic Recovery Corridor, we were promised funds to improve our flood ravaged area, but governmant underdelivered. Now, almost five years Post-Katrina it is the citizens making the difference in the neighborhoods that make our city unique and desirable.
The award funds would spur our economic recovery by promoting the area as a great place to do business. We want to encourage investment on the corridor and promote Freret Street as a safe, clean and great place to shop local. The neighborhood currently boasts a once a month Freret Street Market with over 80 vendors selling fresh produce, seafood, handcrafted items and more.
We work with the Urban Conservancy of New Orleans and the Stay Local campaign. For each dollar spent in our neighborhood, 32 cents stays in the area directly impacting small businesses.
Many of the members were directly impacted by Katrina and are still recovering and rebuilding. The four member board is comprised of all volunteers that live and work on the corridor. Other neighborhoods in New Orleans have seen resurgence with the support of grant funds that allow block advertising, web presense and street festivals. We are striving to obtain the status of a destination for locals and visitors and without advertising resources it is difficult to compete.