City of the Year

On June 13, 2009, the City of Inverness received the state designation as Florida's "City of the Year" by the veterans honor organization, the Forty & Eight. The competition is an annual event sponsored by the group, who are representative to all segments of our Armed Forces. By receiving the state award, Inverness was automatically entered in the national competition.

On September 11, 2009, the City of Inverness received the national title in Rochester, NY at the 40 & 8 annual special awards banquet.
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Why Inverness, Florida over other potential cities?
John Walker, national 40&8 director and state director for the special awards subcommittee, said each state can submit one city nominee for the national award. Based on the number of 40&8 chapters, a possible 55 other locations could have been submitted for the competition.

John Kaiserian, Grand Chef de Train (State Vice Commander) of the 40&8 and member of Voiture 1219 of Citrus County, said there are several factors that gave top honors to Inverness. Numerous parades and ceremonies honoring veterans, monuments honoring those killed in combat, the annual Patriotic Evening on July 3 and the City's very own Liberty Park were just some of the things mentioned.
"Inverness is Citrus County's veterans' city," Kaiserian said.

Though Kaiserian lives in Hernando, driving through Inverness gave him a "good, old town feeling." He saw flags and patriotic banners on street poles, and liked that veterans were honored, saying some towns don't recognize them at all. He also mentioned that many in the community support veterans through various causes, including assembling gift baskets or inviting them to speak in classrooms. That information was included in the award submission packet provided to judges.

This award could not have been made possible without the support and interest of residents and local veteran organizations. The City thanks Veterans for all they have given to this country. "Loss of life is the ultimate sacrifice and many have given all," City Manager, Frank DiGiovanni said.

Clearly it is not one person or group that made Inverness "City of the Year". It is everyone who lives, works or otherwise supports efforts and events in Inverness which recognize the great sacrifice of service men and women in protecting our freedom.

Congratulations to all in making Inverness, Florida - "City of the Year".