Mill Village seeks votes to get grant

TUPELO – One Tupelo neighborhood seeks widespread community support for its bid in a national popularity contest worth $25,000.
The historic downtown Mill Village Neighborhood Association is among more than seven dozen participants – and the only one from Mississippi – in the “This Place Matters” Community Challenge.
Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the challenge allows any American community to submit a hometown place with significance into the contest.
The place goes online, complete with photo and description, for people across the world to view and vote on. Everyone who visits the website gets one vote, which can go to any of the 86 contestants.
As of Friday, Mill Village ranked No. 25 with nearly 170 votes. The contest ends at midnight Sept. 15.
Unlike other online grant contests, this one requires people to vote only once instead of daily.
“We need everyone to go online and vote for us,” said Mill Village resident and campaign organizer Stacey Gregory. “We have spread the word on our Facebook page, we’ve done media releases, we’re trying to let everybody know about it.”
If the neighborhood wins, Gregory said, it will use the money for a number of short-term and long-term projects. Among them: purchasing more entrance signs, doing public landscaping, creating a walking tour and establishing a community center.
The contest now is in its second year. The first year it generated more than 8,000 votes for a variety of sites. The winner was the Humble Oil Building in San Antonio, Texas, an old building that had come to symbolize the community’s connection to the oil industry, according to the website.
“At the core of the ‘This Place Matters’ campaign are narratives on family pride, cultural heritage and neighborhood identity,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a press release.
Together, Meeks said, these places “illustrate the diversity of the American experience.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or

Vote Mill Village
Help the historic downtown neighborhood win
a $25,000 grant by voting online. Go to
action/this-place-matters and
register. Then search for Mill Village and cast your vote. You only need to vote once,
not daily.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio