Dear Moline residents, greater Quad Cities community and visitors and guests:

Those of us with stage and musical experience know that following a major performance, a certain melancholic feeling comes over the event planners and performers. There are no more rehearsal nights with friends, and the rush of adrenaline from performing before a live audience dissipates. One might expect that feeling to be present at the conclusion of our weeklong celebrations of Moline’s sesquicentennial. However, we in Moline are instead feeling extreme gratitude in the wake of our post-birthday bash days.

I want to express immense gratitude for the Council and staff members who supported the event. Months of planning on fairly short notice paid off, with a variety of inclusive events that reminded us of our past and helped us relish the present. The teamwork exhibited was incredible and their foresight, fortitude and willingness to meet the challenge of pulling off a memorable birthday celebration was invaluable.

I want to take a moment to also acknowledge and give thanks to all those sponsors who generously gave to match our municipal investment: John Deere, Old National Bank, MidAmerican Energy Company, The Moline Foundation, MetroLINK, Moline Centre, Roof Drs., Hutchison Engineering, Wyndham Hotel, TaxSlayer Center, WQAD, iHeart Radio, USI, Hansen Family Dentistry, Rexroat Sound, Element Hotel, SJ Smith, Whitey’s, Peter & Kim Benson, The Planning Center, Kone, Renew Moline, Trimble Funeral Home, WVIK, WQPT, Black Box Theatre, NPR and VIP Transportation.

Without them, none of our experiences would have been possible. We could not have reengaged our past public servants at the Mayoral Luncheon. We could not have created experiences like the historic trolley rides without esteemed members of our Historic Preservation Commission, Frank Ege and Barb Sandberg, or Lora Adams who brought notable Moliners to life through historic reenactors. We could not have sponsored a live music community festival without an immense number of volunteers and sponsors and the expertise of Hive Consulting. I am proud that attendees and vendors came away with tremendous positive feelings, stating things like “It was the best of the best of what the QC is at its heart and soul,” and “We should be proud of who we are and how we celebrated this past weekend. People were kind and happy and it made a positive impact.”

As we conclude celebrating our milestone, I hope Moline remembers it is a community within a community. We have our individual identity that continues to evolve as our town is re-shaped by the comings and goings of all types of people. But we also have an identity as part of the larger Quad Cities community. Let us recommit, in this moment, to doing all things that strengthen our town and strengthen the Quad Cities.

Sincerely, S. Rayapati