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NeighborWorks Great Falls celebrates community achievements

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Posted at 12:08 PM, Jun 10, 2024

GREAT FALLS — On Thursday, June 6, supporters of NeighborWorks gathered at Elevation in downtown Great Falls to honor the recipients of this year's most improved awards.

"We have been doing this since 1988," said Jenel Figarelle, Deputy Director of NeighborWorks Great Falls. "This is our 37th annual Most Improved Awards celebration. We get to celebrate all of our partners in the community with awards for the most improved commercial, rental, and residential properties. We also present the Lender of the Year, Realtor of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year awards."

Community-Driven Nominations
The awards process is deeply rooted in community participation. Figarelle explained, "We ask people from the community to send in their nominations through our newsletter, email contacts, and Facebook. Our staff and board members then vote on the most improved awards."

Highlighting Achievements
This year, the Gibson Hotel received the Most Improved Commercial Building of the Year award.

Savannah Sack, general manager of the Gibson Hotel, shared the journey behind the renovation. "It provides a nice hotel for folks to stay downtown where there's really not much of that here in Great Falls. We faced challenges, including a fire started by homeless people trying to keep warm. It took a lot of hard work."

Collaborative Efforts
NeighborWorks relies on the support of community professionals to fulfill its mission.

"Our preferred partners help new homeowners buy their homes," said Figarelle. "Through our homebuyer education program, we bring in home inspectors, realtors, and lenders to educate new homeowners about the buying process. NeighborWorks needs these partners to help people into homes, guiding them on how to buy a home."

Looking Ahead
As NeighborWorks continues to increase its impact, community support remains crucial. The organization is committed to enhancing neighborhoods and assisting new homeowners, relying on the collective effort of Great Falls residents to achieve these goals.

Award recipients:

  • Lender of the Year- Mike Banks
  • Realtor of the Year- Ambyr Rain Showers
  • Volunteer of the Year- Colleen and Declan Okes
  • Homebuyer Education Partner of the Year- Scott Feurt with Blacktail Home Inspections
  • Business Partner of the Year-First Interstate Bank
  • Best New Building- Touro College
  • Most Improved Residential Property- Amy and Tom Figarelle
  • Most Improved Rental Property- Gilbert Reyes
  • Most Improved Commercial Property- The Gibson Hotel

NeighborWorks Great Falls, through its community-based initiatives and annual awards, exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and dedication necessary to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for all residents. To learn more, click here to visit the website.