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    In 2008, 36 bulldog statues were placed around downtown Big Rapids as part of a Leadership Mecosta fundraising project called "Year of the Dawg".  24 bulldogs out of the 36, were auctioned off on eBay for any business, organization, or individual to buy, the other 12 were already bought by businesses.  All proceeds went to benefit the Mecosta County Youth Attention Center, a program that connects with at risk youth and kids that may be starting to go down the wrong path in life, the Artworks program, a non-profit fine art gallery in downtown Big Rapids and the Leadership Mecosta Program, a program led by Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce a program dedicated to educating and inspiring residents of Mecosta County in the area of community leadership.

    Bulldawg Tour


    In 1997 a group of community members led by the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce decided that a mechanism was needed for developing, educating and inspiring residents of Mecosta County in the area of community leadership.  Leadership Mecosta was born from that group of citizens that wanted the best for the future of Mecosta County. In seven short years Leadership has grown and helped throughout Mecosta County, to list just a few thing: Leadership Mecosta donated to the Riverwalk project, a grant was received by Leadership Mecosta for the development of traffic safety signs for Amish buggies, $1500 was given to WISE and $1500 was given to the Old Jail as a result of monies raised through the Leadership Mecosta 5K Run/Walk.  Work groups helped with Habitat for Humanity House in 2007 as well as painting buckets for the Salvation Army. Looking back on it all, it only took one group to make a difference.  With the continued support of the community, Leadership Mecosta keeps moving forward. Leadership Mecosta has over 300 alumni of the program, all of which continue to be involved in Mecosta County and elsewhere.