From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Never know what the challenges will be
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
August 1st marked my one-year anniversary as a full-time permanent Grayling Main Street (GMSt) Program Director. Much like our former chairperson and incoming chairperson did in the weeks prior to last, I would like to share with you some reflections from the past year.
As many of you may know, I have been with GMSt for more than a year. I was part-time for the first three months, and transitioned into the full-time position when the former director resigned. This offered me a unique transition experience, and was a fortunate circumstance for the program.
The past year as the director for GMSt has been an experience like no other. The challenges this position faces are indescribable, mostly because you never really know what they are going to be. For me, that is the most exciting part.
Due to the program being relatively new, and still in the growth and organization phase, there are countless possibilities to explore, as we look for ways of engaging and serving the community. The dynamics of this community offer a wide range of outcomes for every event, ask, project, and task. The eclectic array of personalities enabled me to explore and develop new ideas, different perspectives, and some very creative options.
In the past year GMSt hosted two new events, the Paddle Battle and the Funky Fish Races. Armed with lessons from last year, each of these events are on track for their second annual executions. Building a new event is never easy, and building two in the same year was quite the feat for the GMSt program. Each of these events are unique, and had never been seen in our community before. Their special attributes drew in crowds from further reaches than our community, and provided Grayling a chance to show off our growth and potential.
Lastly, I would consider one of the greatest accomplishments of the year to be my engagement with the Project Rising Tide (PRT) steering committee, and the GMSt program’s support and participation with those efforts. In collaboration with PRT and the local stakeholders, we have been able to identify some of the needs and desires in our community. Following the public engagement sessions, GMSt began to work toward finding and establishing, our role in alleviating those deficiencies, and filling in the gaps. Building a program that will be valued in the community is a task I take great pride in, and am glad to be a part of.
In closing this week, I want to thank the volunteers at every level of the GMSt program for embracing me and letting me be a part of the economic development and historic preservation in Grayling. It has truly been a pleasure to serve with you and I am looking forward to continuing to grow this community and fostering a thrive economy in OUR authentic place, Michigan’s Most Colorful River Town, Downtown Grayling.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.