Jacksonville Main Street honored a host of individuals and businesses after a long delay during a special Saturday afternoon fundraising concert.
Captain Geech & the Shrimp Shack Shooters were brought to the Downtown Square after Main Street was able to secure the winning bid for a concert at a benefit auction for the late sound engineer Doug Warcup’s family. Warcup was a long-time employee of Mason Sound who has been the sound company for many concerts for the Downtown Concert Series since its inception.
Sponsors for the Downtown FundFest were Brian Nyberg Construction, Executive Transportation, Don’s Place, Dominic Casey ReMax, Brent Theatrical Lighting, Hopper RV, The Little Stove, Shanan Casey, Melissa Gerard, and Oscar Tipsword.
Prior to the concert, Main Street honored individuals and business after a two-year hiatus of their annual awards banquet brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says the awards are for people and businesses who make things happen behind the scenes in Jacksonville. She says it was a real challenge to get all honorees to the concert on Saturday: “We had 10 award winners and they were all here. We publicly apologize to all of them for all of our lies to get them here, but it was all in good fun. They were surprised, which was the point. We’re thrilled to hand out and award to publicly recognize people for all the great things that all these volunteers do. We can’t recognize everybody, but we like to try to pick out people that maybe not everyone sees out there in the community doing things behind the scenes that are really making things happen.”
Tighe says they had a lengthy list of honorees on Saturday: “We had two Legacy Awards – one for 2020 and 2021. Tom Winner, of course Mr. Christmas is one of the winners. I mean he’s done so much, served on our board for over 20 years, and the other is for Terry Chumley in honor of his retirement. Both of them will have trees planted in their honor a little bit later this year. Then, we had the 2020 and 2021 Business of the Year Awards. 2020 was Wal-Mart. 2021 Business of the Year was Jessica Richardson Graphic Design. The 2020 Kristan Becker Hoffman Volunteer of the Year Award was for Taylor Zoerner, and the 2021 winner was Albert Evans.”
Tighe also recognized two individuals with the Tom Grojean Community Spirit Award: “For 2020, it was Randy Springer. He really went above and beyond getting many people motivated to support healthcare workers throughout the early part of the pandemic. He decorated the whole front of his business with hearts and encouraged everyone else to do it. Then, the 2021 winner was Cory Garner of El Crow Photography because he photographs everybody’s everything – all the organizations. All they have to do is ask and he goes and does it. Many times it’s on a volunteer basis. He’s not necessarily getting paid for all of this work that he does. We truly appreciate it, and he’s a great community supporter.”
Also honored for his long-time work in the Downtown area and for his recent retirement was Bill Mayes. The Get ‘Er Done Award was given to Doug Pagel for his work both before, during, and after Downtown events.
Tighe says the 2022 Main Street Awards Banquet and annual meeting will return to normal after the two-year hiatus on February 9th, 2023. Overall, Tighe says the Saturday fundraising and awards presentation was well-attended and successful. She says she’s looking forward to the annual Pumpkin Festival coming up on October 22nd, the Gingerbread Contest & Santa Stroll in November, and the return of the Christkindl Market in December.