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We Hear You America: How the 2011 Campaign Made Winning Towns Better

Find out how lucky winners of Reader’s Digest We Hear You America prize grants used their funds to make their communities better.

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In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in the inaugural Reader’s Digest We Hear You America campaign. The top 20 vote-getting towns received grants that allowed them to kick off (or complete) projects to make their communities even better places to live.

Read on for an introduction to some of those winning towns, and stay tuned for more 2011 success stories.

Want to help your town get the support it deserves? Vote in the 2012 We Hear You America campaign now!

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Edinburg, VA

Population: 813 (2000 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Category-based (Population 99,999 or less) Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: Restoring the historic mill

Find out more about Edinburg’s project

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Albion, MI

Population: 9,144 (2000 census)
Prize: $10,000
For: Reviving a theater and hosting youth activities

Find out more about Albion’s projects

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St. Johns, MI

Population: 813 (2000 Census)
Prize: Round 1: Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: Building a water spray park

Find out more about St. Johns’ project

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Jacksonville, IL

Population: 18,940 (2000 Census)
Prize: Round 1: Category-based (Population 99,999 or less) Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: A July Fourth festival and fireworks display

Find out more about Jacksonville’s project

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Manchester, NH

Population: 109,565 (2010 Census)
Prize: $10,000
For: Refurbishing a community art gallery

Find out more about Manchester’s project

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Boley, OK

Population: 1,126 (2000 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: “Keep Boley Clean”

Find out more about Boley’s project

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Armada, MI

Population: 1,573 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: A skateboard and bike park

Find out more about Armada’s project

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Galesburg, IL

Population: 34,195 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Second-Place Municipal Prize of $25,000
For: Youth programs and facility upgrades

Find out more about Galesburg’s project

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San Jose, CA

Population: 945,942 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Category-based (Population of 500,000 or more) Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: Anti-gang summer youth initiatives

Find out more about San Jose’s project

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Rancho Cordova, CA

Population: 64,776 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Grand Prize of $40,000
For: A town Christmas tree and ice rink

Find out more about Rancho Cordova’s project

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Crescent City, CA

Population: 7,643 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 2: Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: Rebuilding the harbor

Find out more about Crescent City’s project

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Greensboro, NC

Population: 269,666 (2010 Census)
Prize: Round 1: Category-based (Population 250,000-499,999) Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: local Red Cross and United Way chapters

Find out more about Greensboro’s project

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Aurora, IL

Population: 197,899 (2010 Census)
Prize: Category-based (Population 100,000-249,999) Municipal Runner-Up Prize of $10,000
For: Festival of Lights

Find out more about Aurora’s project

Originally Published in Reader's Digest