2016 Award Winners
Fall into Step with Main Street Momence
Celebrate Making a Difference
Main Street Momence will host its Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration on Tuesday, September 27th at the Earl Schoeffner Memorial Building - 105 E. 2nd St. The highlight of the event will be the formal recognition of numerous program volunteers and downtown investors for their efforts on behalf of historic downtown district renewal this past year. All volunteers and financial partners, award winners and their families are invited to attend. This year's winners are the following:
Volunteer of the Year
Mayor Mick Porter (shown with wife Lisa) was recognized as Main Street Momence's Volunteer of the Year for the many hours he has devoted to the improvement of downtown Momence. For years the Mayor has devoted time volunteering for a variety of tasks to better Momence's only designated historic district. Projects such as planting flowers and even trees, painting downtown buildings and light posts, participating in the annual downtown clean up and volunteering during the Graham Historic House restoration were made possible due to great volunteers such as Mick. Lisa Porter, Mick's wife, is an extra bonus when it comes to supporting his efforts and is there to dig in and help on many occasions. In addition to the hours spent selflessly giving his time, Mayor Porter also gives his treasure. He annually invests $250 per year to sustain Main Street, their special events and programs. Mick also gave generously to the Graham Historic House project. The entire community is fortunate to have Mayor Mick Porter tirelessly volunteering to beautify the city! Shown at right is Mayor Porter accepting the award.
Hall of Fame - Rob & Kirsten Bishir
Rob and Kirsten Bishir (shown) were admitted into Main Street Momence's coveted Hall of Fame. Rob & Kirsten have shown their commitment to the MSM program since 2007 when they became financial partners annually investing as much as $500 per year. Rob served on Main Street Momence's board as treasurer for over 3 years. He consistently went above and beyond helping to raise funds for the Main Street Program. Kirsten has shown her commitment to the downtown as she volunteered many hours during the musical production of "Chicago" in downtown Momence on behalf of Acting Out Theater and Main Street. Kirsten most recently has chaired the City of Momence's Downtown Farmer's Market for several years, a real asset to the downtown and Momence's citizenry. In addition, Main Street Momence received over $2000 as a result of the Johnsonville Foods Employee Volunteer Program due to the hefty amount of hours the Bishirs volunteered. "Rob & Kirsten are a wonderful example of a husband and wife team giving back to their community!", stated Fran Le Beau, President of the Board. Show at left are Rob and Kirsten accepting their award.
Rookie Volunteer of the Year - Ted Petersen
Enthusiastic, dedicated and caring are perfect words to describe Ted Petersen (shown), Main Street Momence's Rookie Volunteer of the Year. After retiring from KCC as Athletic Director Ted has been able to devote even more time to his hometown of Momence. Ted serves in several capacities for Main Street Momence - on the Board of Directors, a committee member for the Annual Campaign, a volunteer for the Community Auction and most recently he has been working on business development. You may have also seen Ted volunteering with Van Drunen Farm employees to paint lamp posts, plant trees and hang baskets on the walk bridge. Ted has become a real asset to the board and his love of Momence truly shows!", said Janine Loftus, Executive Director of Main Street Momence. Shown at right is Ted accepting his award.
Les Du Montelle Award of Excellence for Downtown Rehabilitation and Outstanding Signage - Momence City Hall
If you have not been to the new City Hall located at 105 W. Washington Street lately you are in for a wonderful surprise. This year the City of Momence is the winner of the Les Du Montelle Award of Excellence for Downtown Building Rehabilitation. The 1910 Post Office building which is now home to Momence City Hall has undergone an extensive renovation. The classic revival building with limestone blocks on the lower facade and Tiffany enameled brick adorning the upper, housed the Momence Post Office until 1954 when the postal service moved its operation to 122 East Washington Street and the Parish family purchased it. The building was not occupied for decades and was in deplorable condition. The structure was generously donated to the City of Momence, along with the Parish Bank building by Centrue Bank approximately 10 years ago. Main Street was instrumental in saving the 1910 structure when demolition was being considered by Centrue Bank.
A grant received by the City of Momence through the efforts of Senator Donne Trotter and State Representative Elgie Simms paid for nearly half of the $45,000 expense for materials for the rehabilitation. The grant was to provide aid to the city in complying with the federally mandated ADA requirements. City Hall is now completely handicap accessible. City workers led by Scott Behrends, Superintendent of the Street and Alley Dept. provided all of the labor for the project which included: handicap accessible bathrooms and entrance, new heating and central air, new hardwood flooring, restoration of an existing ornate window and brick facade on south wall, drywall, crown molding, new doors, recessed lighting and ceiling fans and much more. A cannon ball safe from Parish bank has been completely restored and is on display as well. Shown above from left to right are: Mayor Mick Porter, Scott Behrends, Supt of Street & Alley Dept. and team leader, and April Carroll, City Worker. Others who provided their assistance with project were Guy Anderson and Rick Clark. Shown at right is Mayor Mick Porter accepting the award on behalf of the City.
The City was also awarded the Outstanding Signage Award for their quality projecting sign. The new addition which features black with gold leaf lettering was designed by Nancy Porter, a design committee member for Main Street Momence and Van Drunen Farm employee. The sign was created by Carol Kaufman of Watseka Signs. Shown at left is Alderman Mark Lesyna accepting the award on behalf of the City.
Community Partner Award
Van Drunen Farms will be honored as the 2016 Main Street Momence Award Winner for Community Partner. This designation is given each year to a group or business who has gone above and beyond to partner with Main Street on improving the City of Momence's historic business district. Recently team members from VDF have been seen volunteering planting trees for the City of Momence, hanging baskets of flowers on the walkbridge (shown), and painting the historic lamp posts lining West Washington Street. Van Drunen Farms philanthropic spirit is evident in other areas as well. VDF has been a longtime financial supporter of Main Street Momence and sponsor events such as the Community Auction, Cruise Nights, Bordertown Hauntings and the Downtown Christmas Gathering. Another downtown project Van Drunen Farms has funded was the Graham Historic House & Museum restoration. VDF was inducted into the Main Street Momence's Hall of Fame in 2005. Van Drunen Farms is making a difference in a big way and their employees are too! Pictured at left are Van Drunen Farm Employees (from left to right): Mike Miller, Veronica Smith, Nathan Donovan, Aaron Chandler, Garry Eckhoff, Ted Petersen , Fran & Hernan Maldonado (MSM Design Committee), Janet Cremer, & Tim Zylstra. Shown at right is David Van Drunen accepting the award on behalf of all of the employee volunteers.
The Precious Momence Full Service Pet Salon located at 122 E. Washington St. is this year's recipient of the Interior Design Award. Dorette Rowe is shown with Mandy, one of her regulars near the ornate fireplace which is prominently located on the west end of the salon. Soft, opulent, and pretty are words to describe the shabby chic decor that welcomes each customer as they enter the door. Dorette's interior design is so refreshing and unique in downtown Momence, the design committee did not have to think twice when deciding this year's winner. Dorette's full service groom includes: bath, hair cut & style, nails, cleaning and disinfecting ears. Add ons include: nail polish, special conditioning, dry skin & flea treatments. Another option is the Bath & Brush service which includes: bath, brush, nails and ears. Pet Sitting will be offered in the near future! The salon is open Monday-Saturday 10 am until 3 pm. To make an appointment today call Dorette at 815-450-6029. Shown at left is Dorette accepting her award.
Best Business Neighbor
Lobbying the city to pass the Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance to help restaurants, encouraging flower beautification in front of businesses, hosting a 180 Year Old Birthday Party for Momence in 2014, and creating coupons for retail businesses are just a few of the efforts of the Downtown Business Alliance, this year's winner of the Best Business Neighbor Award. Shown from left to right are committee members: Rick Seemann of Simple Creations & Antiques, Jane Johnson of Apothecary Arts located at 113 E. Washington Street, and Debbie Lampley of Off the Vine located at 121 E. Washington Street. Other committee members include: Rick Byrne & Linda Whitten of Bordertown Boutique, Judy Gereg of Resale for Rescue-Caezar's Palace, Linda Eskra of Gerbera Floral Travel & More, Steve Gross of Sensei Steve's Karate Center, and Andrea Dinkins of Pizza Stone Express. The Downtown Business Alliance Mission: "Through its leadership in advocacy and promotion, the Momence Downtown Business Alliance will encourage development and support to service and retail enterprises and will foster good will between downtown businesses and the community." Shown at right is Downtown Business Alliance founder Jane Johnson accepting the award.