Smithsonian exhibit earns recognition for Red Bay

The city of Red Bay attracted 6,692 people from 41 states and four foreign countries this past fall when they hosted the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit “They Way We Worked” for six weeks.

Because of their outstanding efforts in promoting their city through this prestigious event, the city of Red Bay was recently awarded an honorable mention in the 2014 Municipal Quality of Life Awards program.

Red Bay was one of 14 cities and towns to submit nominations for this year’s awards.

Winners and honorable mentions were chosen in three different categories according to population size, including: Under 5,000; 5,001 to 12,000; and Over 12,001.

Winners in the respective categories included Excel, Guntersville and Athens. Red Bay was given an honorable mention distinction in the Under 5,000 category. Also receiving an honorable mention were the cities of Brewton and Huntsville.

Rosalyn Fabianke, event coordinator for “The Way We Worked,” said the award was a great honor and well-deserved.

“This is a very prestigious award, and I am proud that we received an honorable mention,” Fabianke said.

“This is something that should be shared by all the city of Red Bay and all those who played a significant role in making sure the exhibit was a success.

“We worked together as a town for more than a year preparing for the exhibit and then presenting it once it was here.

“Much time and effort was expended by all our volunteers, and because of that hard work, we broke the attendance records the Alabama Humanities Foundation had for a town hosting a Smithsonian exhibit.

“This project showcased our wonderful city, both the foundation for the city in our past and the current prosperity of the city now, and I think each person who visited the exhibit left knowing that Red Bay has many things to offer.”

Red Bay Mayor David Tiffin said he really thought the city would take home the top award for their efforts with the Smithsonian exhibit.

“I have to admit I was disappointed that we didn’t actually win our category for this award because I think our city did a tremendous job with this project,” Tiffin said.

“But I am still proud that we were selected as an honorable mention.

“What our town did to promote our city and our region in those six weeks should be recognized and commended and I am glad that it was.

“Rosalyn and all the volunteers really made Red Bay shine.”

The Municipal Quality of Life Awards program was created in 2007 to recognize outstanding projects in local government and to share those success stories with other municipalities.

Winners were chosen by a panel of three independent judges who are not employed by or affiliated with the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Judging was based entirely on the written entries and supportive information and winners were chosen on how well entries met the three main objectives of the program: To recognize successful, innovative projects that improve the quality of life for citizens; to share those projects with other municipalities; and to demonstrate the value of cities and towns.

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