Jacksonville Main Street had a fun night of awards and announcements last night for their annual meeting. Judy Tighe says the first thing on tap in the new year is a community listening session on March 17th from 6-8PM at the Amvets. “The public is invited. It’s free to attend. There’s no dinner, but the Amvets will have the bar open if you’d like a drink. We may have some light snacks. What we want is the community’s ideas, the vision of what people want to see downtown, what the community wants to see our organization do, what they want to see Downtown become and evolve into. We are looking for all the input we can get on little things and big things. After we get all that, we as an organization will look at those ideas and see how we can go about accomplishing them or setting up so that larger goals can happen in the future.”
Tighe said she was happy with how the awards ceremony went because every recipient was surprised. “Our Business of the Year was ElCrow Photography and Cory Garner and he was surprised. He’s done a fantastic job taking pictures for us and volunteering as well as supporting us in a variety of ways with all of our events. Julie Rowe at Home Girls Boutique won our Outstanding New Business Award for her dedication, participation, and growth all within the first 3 years of opening a new business.”
Jacksonville Main Street also presented a new award at the annual meeting. The award is intended to be an occasional award as the Main Street board sees fit for outstanding achievements in the progression of Jacksonville Main Street’s downtown renewal and progression in new businesses and ventures.
The new award was named after Tom Grojean in recognition of him being the first State of Illinois Main Street Community Spirit award recipient in 2005.
The first annual Tom Grojean Community Spirit Award recipient was presented to Scotty DeWolf for his continued commitment and preservation efforts for the City of Jacksonville, especially for the historic downtown area. Tighe explains how the award was a double honor. “We wanted to honor Scotty DeWolf for his generosity and his support of our community. He’s a newcomer, but he’s really embraced this town and really taken us into his heart. He really wants to see Jacksonville thrive and continue to improve. We really wanted to honor him and the more we thought about it, the more it reminded us of way back in 2005 when Tom Grojean won the first State of Illinois Main Street Community Spirit Award. Illinois Main Street hasn’t done awards in a very long time because the statewide program fell apart. It’s just now getting back on its feet and they haven’t got any award programs in place yet. We decided to model it after their award but realized we really need to name this award the Tom Grojean Community Spirit Award, because that was the benchmark that we were looking at for who we would want to honor with an award like this.”
Main Street honored perennial volunteer was Debbie Ervin who is a mainstay at most every Main Street event working both in front of and behind the scenes.
Morgan County Treasurer Jenny Geirnaeirt won the reverse raffle on the evening, which was a trip for two to Las Vegas.