Hats off to dedicated downtown volunteers and staff

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer is here, and We Be Jammin’ is in full swing once again. What would summer in Franklin be without it?

Have you ever paused to consider how these fun events — and many others – in our town happen? It’s a little like a Broadway show that you enjoy without thinking about all that goes into making that “opening night” a reality.

Meetings, plans, agendas, telephone calls and lots of other details are handled in the background by a small group of Downtown Franklin Association businesses and property owners, whose volunteer efforts make it all seem to happen as if by magic — and all that after a long day running, working and/or managing their own businesses.

So, it’s time for a special “thanks” to the few, the dedicated, the tired — and the board. The buck starts here. The DFA board consists of Victor Story of Vic’s Signs & Engraving, president; Pam Ellis of Pam’s Tea Room, vice president; Beverly Myers of City Paint and Supply Inc., treasurer; Kathy Worrell of Manry-Rawls Corp., secretary; Jack Norvell, volunteer and ex-president; Karry Harrell of Lucia Logistics; Connie Holt of AFLAC; Rosa Lawrence, City Council representative; Nancy Parrish of Franklin Business Incubator; Gerry Patnesky of Alphabet Soup; Patti Rabil of Fred’s Restaurant; Juanita Richards of Richwood Graphics; Robbie Purvis of Bronco Federal Credit Union and Chamber of Commerce representative; and Anne Williams of Southampton Memorial Hospital and property owner.

Ellis and Myers are co-chairs of the Promotions Committee. These are the ladies who make We Be Jammin’ happen, as well as all of the other community-related events that you attend: Easter egg hunt, Christmas parade, Patriotism in the Park, Franklin Fall Festival and so on. Thanks to them, the “F” in Franklin stands for fun.

Story, our hard-working, nonpartisan president, was most recently responsible for researching and procuring the beautiful clock installed at Franklin Depot in memory of Casy Rich. You may have seen in this paper the photo of him helping to build the stalls at the new Farmers’ Market.

These fall under his purview as chair of the design committee, but he works hard at lots of other things, too.

Last, but certainly not least, Dan Howe, Main Street manager, and Jeri Lankford, office manager, deserve a huge thanks for carrying out the day-to-day business operation at the new Franklin Train Depot and Visitors Center, as well as participating in and helping to organize events throughout the year.

Howe accomplished so much during his first go-round as manager that we almost (I said almost, Dan) got tired of seeing his face in the newspaper. Jeri, it goes without saying that we all know who really runs the show.

Many other DFA members offer time, support and financing for these events. Check out the businesses on your We Be Jammin’ T-shirts; those folks helped fund the fun. And who put the band on your wrist, gave you beer tickets and poured your beer? DFA members did. Why? Because we like you. Oh yeah, and we like Franklin, too.

DFA members are invested in this community, personally and professionally. We are striving to help our Main Street City improve and thrive.

Now, I guess I must confess that, as a member of the DFA, I am hereby guilty of tooting my own horn, in a way. As a Main Street business owner, I am pleased and honored to be involved with the rest of the orchestra that works and plays (in so many ways) in this community. But, as just a community member, I want “the leaders of the band” to know how very much they are appreciated.

So, one more time — special thanks to those who are doing so much, and thanks to all of the business and property owners who offer time, talent and support.

Got ideas? Got enthusiasm? Got time to volunteer? We’d be happy to milk you for all that. Be part of this community and have fun doing it.

See ya ’round town.