Monday, January 30, 2017

Main Street News: January 30th

If your mailbox is anything like mine, besides the usual bills, it is often filled with ‘requests’.  These are requests to support many worthwhile charities and organizations. They may be local, regional or national. I’m also guessing that like many others, your household income is already mostly designated.  The utilities, medical, insurance, car, food, church, school needs, clothing bills, etc. all need paying.  Due to the influx of requests, choosing where to spend our discretionary funds can become an exercise of investigation. We can’t and shouldn’t just give to every request. We are expected to be good stewards of our dollars and should choose wisely. We should take time to give it some thought and serious consideration.  

Of course, the direction that this is leading is for a ‘request’! That means the annual Main Street Membership Drive. Consider becoming a “Friend of Main Street”. In the past, we have had individual and couple’s memberships. We realized these levels of membership should be somewhat different than the business and organization levels, even though they are equally important. That being said, we created the new “Friends of Main Street” program. If you believe in what the Main Street Program does for our community, please consider donating $20 to our program. In addition, you will receive 2 VIP tickets to the Community Picnic in July. When giving it some thought, below are a few reasons to help you decide.

The Top 10 Reasons to become a “Friend of Main Street”.

10.  Help ‘drive’ the organization’s mission of building relationships between residents and  
  1. Support promotional events like the Showcase, Miss Barnesville Pageant, Community Picnic, Toast of the Town, Show ‘n Shine Car Shows, Rummage Sales, Golf Tournament, Miracle on Front Street activities
8.   Your contribution helps fund enhancements to beautify our town, as well as to welcome visitors and new residents
  1. Name recognition at several events and in publications throughout the year
  1. Evidence that you support Barnesville’s business community
  1. A chance to say “I care about our community!”        
4.   Opportunities to network with other community members making new friends, and possible
      business connections for yourself
3.   Improve & increase community spirit and well- being
  1. Opportunities to volunteer for programs, services and events

And the top reason to have Membership in the Main Street Program…
  1. Personal investment, satisfaction and pride that you help Barnesville grow and thrive

To all of you who have invested in the Main Street Program with your dollars by becoming a member, we would like to thank you. Your support is so appreciated and needed. We couldn’t do it without your generosity. Every membership dollar counts and helps us to fulfill our responsibilities. For anyone considering membership or who would like to know more, please give me a call. I would love to share more about Main Street with you.

Membership in Main Street Program is a sign of your commitment to Barnesville and making it a better place to live and work, grow and play…Building a Better Barnesville.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Main Street News: January 23rd

The Main Street Program’s Annual meeting last Wednesday, January 18th, was a time to recognize our great volunteers and members. They each do what they can. They do so because they want to. It’s not their ‘job’ and certainly no one pays them. They do it because they know they should. Although we cannot ever begin to thank each and every one of them properly, but I do want to take time to recognize our award winners for 2016. Our Business of the Year award goes to a business that Barnesville would be lost without. In the last year, they have made quite a few improvements and never quit to provide the best for our community. They have also sponsored several Main Street events and help us out whenever we need. This year’s business of the year is Barnesville Grocery. Our Board member of the year goes to Aubree Martinez. Aubree is always jumping in to help and does it with a smile on her face. The Committee Member of the Year award goes to a Lindsay Bontjes. Lindsay has been on the Promotions Committee for too many years to count! She has been such a great asset and also serves with a smile! Our last award for the year goes to our volunteer of the year. This is always the hardest to award. We have so many great volunteers who put in so many hours. This year I made it easy. I totaled up all the volunteer hours in 2016. We had a total of 746 hours! What is even more shocking is the fact that if you times that by the national average worth of a single volunteer hour of $23.07, you would find that we totaled $17,210.22 worth of volunteering last year alone. This year that award goes to the person with the most volunteer hours, Pete Larson. Pete not only serves on the Main Street Board of Directors, but he is also on the Showcase Committee and volunteers his summer weekends to water the flowers on Front Street. Special thanks go out to each of them for their endless dedication as they give of their time and talents to be Barnesville’s Main Street Program!

At our meeting, we also were excited to unveil our new logo that has been in the works for a quite a while! Watch for it in our upcoming Main Street publications!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Main Street News: January 16th

Review and renew. These are two words that are frequently associated with the beginning of a new year.  As an organization, we can and should do both. For schools and some clubs and most churches that happens in the fall. For Main Street it happens each January. We can review and reflect on the events of 2016 and learn from them. This helps us renew our commitment and dedication to our members, our business community and our residents.

Next week, the Main Street Program will take some time to do just that.  Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on January 18 at the Barnesville VFW. Board Members, committee members and staff will be on hand to share their thoughts about 2016 and look toward 2017.

The Main Street Program is truly a volunteer based organization.  It is structured to utilize volunteers in a variety of ways.  From advisory roles, to guidance and planning, to direct contact with businesses and residents and old fashioned hands on work, there are many tasks needed. As staff, I rely heavily upon the volunteers to complete those tasks and to give direction to the program as a whole. In other words, they are really driving the program in the direction that they see fit for Barnesville.

The Main Street Board of Directors, Promotions Committee, and Design Committee each play a large role in that direction.  They meet monthly to provide all of the previously mentioned skills and more!    Special committees like Showcase and Miss Barnesville meet seasonally as to the need and the event.  Both events are long standing traditions in Barnesville! Without any of these individuals, none of the Main Street events would take place.  They need to work together as a team to make that happen by complimenting each other, working through roadblocks and focusing all toward the same goal.

Main Street is part of a bigger picture as well. We are part of the National Main Street Program. So many communities are faced with the same concerns and situations that we are and learning from others as well as having additional resources available help to make us a stronger organization.

How does one be part of this movement, this vision, this direction for Barnesville’s Main Street Program?  There are many ways.  Interested people can become members either as a business or part of our new Friends of Main Street individual membership. If you are considering a volunteer role on a regular basis or for short term events, I or any board member would be happy to visit with you about your interest in Main Street. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 354-2479.

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.  It is the Barnesville Main Street Program.   

Monday, January 9, 2017

Main Street News: January 9th

Last week we took the time to honor the people who put their life on the line every day for our safety. Monday, January 9th is recognized nationally as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. In our community, we thought this was a perfect time to recognize not only the local law enforcement, but all first responders. Both the local ambulance crew and fire department work very closely with the police department. Thank you to not only these fine folks for their service, but everyone who wore blue and joined us for coffee and goodies in their honor.
This week we get to thank all of our wonderful volunteers and members at the Annual Meeting. We will meet at VFW on Wednesday, January 18th at 12:00 noon. Our program wouldn’t be where it is today without such a great force behind us.

We are very fortunate in this small community to have such great people to call neighbors and friends. These friends are people we have learned we can rely on and trust to make this community the best it can be. The Main Street Program also relies on our friends to keep providing fun events and elements to beautify the town. That is why we created the “Friends of Main Street” Program. In the past, we had individual and couple membership levels for our program. We realized the benefits of that program were mainly focused towards organizations and businesses. Our Friends of Main Street will not only be recognized in various publications, but you will also be invited to attend the annual meeting in January and receive 2 VIP tickets to the Community Picnic. The cost is $20 per family and can be sent to the Main Street Program at PO Box 550, Barnesville MN 56514. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact me at 354-2479.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Main Street News: January 2nd

2017...another new year, another opportunity for resolutions!  Now I’m not a really big New Year’s resolutions person, however, it does give one time to reflect on the past year and to look ahead to a new year.  I try to take this time of year to think about the changes I want to make.  Be it professional or personal, an opportunity for growth and improvement lies with each New Year.  Perhaps you may think that way as well.  If not consider the possibilities that resolutions or changes may make for a more enjoyable life and more success at work.

Personally, I could list the some of the same items from previous years that you may have on your list:  Lose weight, tackle the undone projects, etc, but I want to focus on the intrinsic characteristics I admire most in others.  I will try to be more patient, and more tolerant and more understanding.  I plan to work harder at my responsibilities and do a better job at whatever I do.  I will try to make the time to “smell the roses” as they say…or in my life that means: spend more time with family, take a walk, take a friend out to lunch or just spend time doing something for others.

Professionally, we can also set goals, both for improving our business and for developing our own capabilities.  We can try to reach out to new customers or learn a new skill, in essence, challenge ourselves.  Success comes to those who actively pursue excellence.  If we focus on what we can do to improve at our job, the possible returns may surprise us.

In 2017, I plan to meet with many of our Main Street members, get to know them better and help you get to know them and what they have to offer. This year I encourage you to invest in this community’s future. Together we can strengthen and support our local economy.  That makes Barnesville a better place to live and work for us all!

Whatever path you choose to begin 2017 on, may it be of benefit to you and others as we in Barnesville strive to enhance relationships between residents and businesses.  Happy New Year from the Main Street Program office!