Downtown Gadsden receives state award


Main Street Alabama recently celebrated Designated Communities successes on a special day in honor of the organization, as proclaimed by Governor Robert Bentley. Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator, Mary Helmer, announced the winners of the Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence at the Capital City Club in downtown Montgomery with former President of the National Main Street Center, Kennedy Smith and Kathy LaPlante, Senior Program Officer with the National Main Street Center. Alabama Municipal Electric Authority sponsored the event. A total of 30 awards were given during the luncheon. 

“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” stated Mary Helmer. “Today’s award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements. We are especially honored to be presenting these awards on Main Street Alabama Day, as proclaimed by Governor Bentley.” 

Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence included Excellence in Business Promotion, Downtown Gadsden, Inc., Connections; Excellence in Fundraising, Party with a Purpose; and Excellence in Downtown Marketing, Holiday Postcard.

Christian Motorcycle Association-Reborn Riders received the Main Street Alabama Community Award.

The Awards of Excellence Luncheon is a highlight of the aLABama Downtown Laboratory, a two-day conference that bolsters the efforts of communities participating in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or those communities interested in downtown revitalization. The second annual event drew 119 community leaders from 44 cities across the state. 

Main Street Alabama has 16 Designated Programs and 23 Downtown Network Communities. Gadsden, Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Jasper, Monroeville, Opelika, Oxford and Selma each have Designated Programs and three new communities will be added annually. Applications to become a Designated Program will be available in Spring 2016. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama’s Downtown Network.

Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of MSA’s efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

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