Cranberry’s Graham Park was recently host to several high profile athletic events: an Eastern U.S. soccer tournament and the Seneca Valley Lacrosse Fest. Together, the two gatherings attracted more than 10,000 visitors. Our hotels were sold out. And, according to the Butler County Convention and Tourism Bureau, the soccer tournament alone pumped approximately $2 million into our local economy.
If you were there, you saw how smoothly everything ran. As a guest there myself, I was approached by a number of residents telling me how much they enjoyed it and how well they thought the Township was doing in maintaining its parks, controlling its growth, and managing its events, in addition to carrying out its other responsibilities.
Of course, I was flattered to hear that, and I would sincerely like to believe that Cranberry’s government plays an important role our community’s success. But it is equally clear to me that the success of the recent sports weekend, and of so much else, is something that no unit of government could do alone. Nobody has the resources, the authority, or the skill to pull that off all by themselves.
Instead, it is a cooperative effort, one requiring goodwill and collaboration among a number of entities – each of whom had a stake in its success. In this case, they included the Seneca Valley Soccer Association, the Seneca Valley Lacrosse Association, the Cranberry Township Athletic Association (CTAA), the Miracle League, and the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau, as well as various Township departments.
Planning for the weekend actually began months ago. It required resolving a number of tough issues and balancing conflicting needs and wants. But in the end, they got it done. And I’m convinced that this amazing sense of cooperation is why so many consider Cranberry to be a model community. It’s also why I expect our local athletic associations and their leaders will be key to Cranberry’s success for years to come.
At essentially the same time that the soccer tournament and lacrosse fest were taking place, another milestone of cooperation was also going on – the opening of four open-air fitness stations in Graham and North Boundary Parks. Spearheaded by CTCC – the Cranberry Township Community Chest – the fitness stations are just the latest in a series of awesome projects delivered by CTCC to advance our community’s quality of life consistent with its strategic plan.
As with the recent athletic events and so many other high-value projects in Cranberry, these fitness stations could not have come about except for the support from thousands of local individuals, organizations and businesses. They provide tangible evidence of the collaborative culture which makes Cranberry the vibrant community it has become and which will position it for success well into the future.
I give thanks every day for being part of this amazing community.