From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director

Organizations combine forces to overcome challenges
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
As you may recall from last week, I shared some examples of collaboration in our community. I often reference that value of working with other programs to achieve similar goals, and to enhance the impact of projects. Often times, these are one-time projects or applications, stacked with piles of paperwork, and veiled to protect the privacy of the personal investors and stakeholders. Previously, I mentioned grant applications, reactivating dormant boards, and broadening technical services. But, there are far more visible ways to collaborate as well. This week, I want to continue the conversation, from the event prospective. Grayling Main Street (GMSt) is resolved to have at least one partner for every event we host.  
When you give yourself plenty of time to plan, carefully calculate and consider all the aspects, and collect enough people to complete all the tasks, events can be fun, lucrative, and contribute in a positive fashion to the sense of place where you host them. Unfortunately, they can also be very challenging, and when not executed properly, can be costly and detrimental to the host and place. Think Fyre Festival.  But, when organizations come together to plan events, they can combine their forces and mitigate many of the challenges often encountered throughout the process.
This year GMSt is changing one of our newer events, and partnering with the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce, to move Paddle Battle to River Festival.  We are excited to take part in the Chamber’s refresh of these popular festivities, by hosting the first event at the “Main Stage” in the heart of Downtown Grayling, the 200 block of Michigan Avenue.
This collaboration is what I like to call “partnership lite.” It is kind of like a first date. There is extra care put into preparation, we are each responsible for ourselves, the plan is to do a fun thing together, and the stage is set for everyone to have a good enough time that we want to do it again.  
Similar to other partnership for events like Harvest Festival and Christmas Walk, we will be leveraging resources from each other. We are incredibly grateful to have been invited to participate in their new format, and want to make sure we make the best of it, for us and them. Due to the Chamber’s tapped volunteer pool during River Festival, GMSt will be providing the event and people to host said event, to draw more folks into town on Friday night.  Considering the cost of hosting such an event, the Chamber will be providing the venue and equipment. We will use the power of cross promotion to enhance visibility of the good times to be had, and are confident we will have a hit on our hands.
Over the last couple of months, we have revised, reviewed, and modified the Paddle Battle plans. We put together a topnotch team of volunteers to head up the planning and coordination of Paddle Battle 2018, and are commencing coordination.  Unfortunately, it will take more than four dedicated citizens to pour beer, take bets, paddle against each other in the “Battle Grounds,” and keep everyone up-to-date on the battle standings. We are looking for folks who are interested in any and all aspects of the Paddle Battle. You could be a competitor, a volunteer for a couple hours that day, or join the planning committee.  Please, get in touch with us, for our “first date,” so we can get to know each other and find out what kind of fun we can have.
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 Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website,, find them on Facebook, or email questions to
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. 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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