From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Community has overcome challenges
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Greetings Main Streeters – Thank you for another year of serving with this community. We have thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to continuing to contribute to Grayling.
In the upcoming editions of “From the Director’s Desk,” I would like to share with you all some of the things we accomplished this year. Not all of the work we do is quantifiable, but I will offer you some numerical data to support the foundation of what I believe to be the more meaningful impact: the change that was seen in our community throughout last 12 months. Like every program, we had amazing days and we had awful days, but every day was an opportunity for improvement and growth, and I feel we took advantage of each one in 2017.
Without a doubt, our most valuable asset is our volunteer base. As I have said before, Grayling Main Street (GMSt) is a program that works with the community to achieve economic and community growth. Without the dedicated volunteers of our Board, committees, and events, we would not exist. During 2017, you, the wonderful volunteers of Grayling, contributed more than 3,300 hours of service, to achieve growth for our community. Thank you!
Throughout the year, GMSt hosted five major events. Each event was an opportunity to us to invite new visitors, service our residents, and build on the economy for local businesses. Approximately 1,300 of the volunteer hours from 2017 were dedicated to event activities. This special team of contributors coordinated schedules, vendors, and promotions, to actualize retail and entertainment attractions in Downtown Grayling.
The remaining volunteer hours were split among projects from beautification to training. A good portion of our volunteers worked on collaborative projects with Project Rise Tide committees, the Grayling Promotional Association, the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce, and other community organizations. This year can easily be characterized as the year we focused on building powerful and effective collaborative relationships. We heightened our awareness of the value of smarter resource usage, through the development of synergetic partnerships that will impact a wider audience in our region.
In addition to working toward better partnerships, we increased our education and training activities. GMSt staff and volunteers completed more than 300 hours of training activities in 2017. We started the training increase with three volunteers accompanying me to the annual Main Street Now conference in Pennsylvania. Later in the year we played host to more than a dozen Michigan communities interested in utilizing the Main Street Approach. Throughout the year we engaged with Michigan Main Street to complete training and work sessions related to the Main Street Approach Refresh. We made sure to take advantage of every opportunity we had in 2017 to gain new knowledge and explore alternative solutions to the issues our community faces.
Something I am incredibly proud of the program for this year is that we went beyond being a training location and we became trainers. Our community has experienced some unique and difficult situations. We had the privilege of sharing those experiences, and how we overcame, or in some cases are still overcoming, those challenges.
Next week you will hear from a special guest contributor, while I am off enjoying the holidays with family. I will be back soon, to tell you more about GMSt’s 2017.
From all of us at GMSt, we hope the new year is filled with prosperity and joy.
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.