Jan Simon, state director of Missouri Community Betterment, presents a sign to Elaine Campbell, representing one of Houston's three victories in the annual contest. 

The City of Houston was honored for its three wins in the annual Missouri Community Betterment contest with a reception last week that included the state director of the program.

A contingent of community leaders and representatives of Houston’s winning projects gathered last Thursday at the Houston Storm Shelter for the celebration. Jan Simon of MCB presented a sign to the town representing its wins in the population category, youth group and overall youth group.

Simon said the MCB judges were impressed by the “tremendous community cohesiveness, pride and joy in growing the community and planning for the future.” She said Houston is well organized, has passionate volunteer involvement and a caring spirit.

Six community projects were highlighted for judges when they visited Houston in early September. They were: Share Your Christmas, Rachel’s Challenge, the visitor center volunteer program, Carry The Cross, Texas County Memorial Hospital’s expansion and tree planting at Emmett Kelly Park.

“The confidence and commitment to the projects was admirable,” Simons said.

Simon praised Community Betterment Y.O.U.T.H., who was named the Glenn Smith Youth Group of the Year. It was the first time Houston received the overall youth award.

“The enthusiasm, heartfelt passion and appreciation these youth expressed during their presentation to the MCB judges were described as both genuine and touching,” Simon said. “It is apparent that each youth worked diligently to raise funds for and participate in their own community projects.”

A large contingent from Houston, led by Elaine Campbell, attended the 50th annual conference on Oct. 21 in Lake Ozark. Officials honored 29 communities and 13 individuals at the banquet.

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