Most people know the phrase "I love New York," but have you heard the phrase "I Love Macon"? It's a grassroots effort to encourage positive attitudes about the city and boost civic pride.
It all started with five young community leaders: Josh Rogers, Pilar Wilder, Heather Bowman Cutway, Julia Mullins Wood, and Wesley Griffith. All five were named by Macon Magazine's as the Five Under 40 Young Leaders.
They wanted to find a way to make the conversation about Macon more positive. The founders say Macon has its problems like any other city. But they also say remembering why the city is great will help the community face those problems.
"The idea is, if we are going to address them, we have to remember why it is we think the city is so important, what makes us love it so much to want to address those issues," says Wilder.
They are hoping that people will share their reasons for loving Macon and sign a pledge online on their website, www.ilovemacon.org.
13WMAZ went with three of the co-founders of this campaign to their favorite spots in town.
Wilder says she loves Macon's dog park. "What I look forward to most is the peacefulness. I can come here, even if we're just here for maybe 15, 20, 30 minutes and just kinda detoxify from all of the other stuff."
Cutway's heart is downtown at the Golden Bough Bookstore on Cotton Avenue. "I think it's just that funky interesting character that comes with old books, and art and people who want to do something different," she says, "and so it's kind of the place where all those misfits come and gather."
Rogers loves Macon's rich history, so his favorite place is his historic home, built in 1892. "I think you just feel part of that continuum when you are here in one of these beautiful historic houses that Macon is so known for."
The campaign has partnered with The Knight Fund for Macon, Peyton Anderson Foundation and Community Foundation of Georgia.