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Street Talk

Volunteers Make Main Street Program Work

By Jessie Gurner

“Now it’s time to say goodbye …”

This will be my last column as Manager of the Water Valley Main Street Association.  I’m leaving to take another job, but before I say goodbye I would like to thank the Board and all the Main Street volunteers for the superb job they are doing with this program.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to brag on what has been accomplished by this fantastic group of volunteers since Water Valley became a Main Street Community on August 30, 2007.

A downtown Farmers Market was established with local sellers providing locally grown produce. Alexe Van Beuren, the market manager, is also working to have this become a certified farmers market.

WVMSA hosted a downtown pep rally for WVHS Homecoming. This was such a success that we were asked to continue the event. In 2008, there will be two downtown pep rallies – one held for the first game of the season and again for homecoming.

The Economic Restructuring Commit-tee completed a business survey that covered a variety of topics from business hours to parking concerns. The next project planned by this committee will be a building inventory.

We promoted pre-Christmas shopping for local businesses by placing ads in the Herald and also in several area papers. WVMSA also arranged for evening shopping on Main Street following the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Pavilion in Railroad Park.

WVMSA coordinated Founders Day. This was a very large event for a new program. Over $10,000 was raised from sponsorships and donations. The member of WVMSA donated hundreds of hours to makes this event successful. One of the things that makes me most proud of this event is that the local organizations and groups who provided food raised money that stayed in the community.

We’ve completed several projects that aren’t as visible as Founders Day like the creation of the WVMSA website  –

A project that is very visible is the WVMSA office. One of the goals of the Main Street Association is increased economic viability through historic preservation. With a lot of volunteer effort and the help of professionals, like Frances Denham of Denham Painting, the office has been returned to its former glory.

I plan to remain a member of Main Street – as a volunteer – and I’m looking forward to the wonderful things this group will accomplish in the coming years.

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