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Kentucky Heritage Council
Kentucky Main Street Programs honored for excellence

Press Release Date:  Friday, October 23, 2009  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Seven Kentucky Main Street communities – Bellevue, Elizabethtown, Fort Thomas, Henderson, Murray, Springfield and Winchester – were honored Wednesday evening during a first-ever awards ceremony hosted by the Kentucky Main Street Program to recognize outstanding building rehabilitation and downtown revitalization projects created and managed by Main Street communities.
The event was the highlight of a three-day “best practices” conference and 30th anniversary celebration which began Tuesday and ends today.  The Kentucky Main Street Program is administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, and is the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the nation.  Main Street works to build local businesses, support public-private partnerships and enhance economic development while preserving unique local architecture and existing community infrastructure.

Awards were presented in four categories that mirror the four objectives of the Main Street approach: design, promotion, organization and economic restructuring.  Winners received a custom platter designed by Louisville Stoneware.  Winning projects and programs were:

Design/Building Rehabilitation: Historic State Theater – Elizabethtown/Hardin County Heritage Council

Design/Beautification: Wayfinding Signage and Audubon Sculptures – Downtown Henderson Project

Promotion/Event: Junior Renaissance Camp – Fort Thomas Renaissance

Promotion/Public Relations: Shop Bellevue! and Rain or Shine Promotion – Bellevue Renaissance Committee

Organization: (tie) Preserve the Past…Imagine the Future annual publication – Murray Main Street Program, Inc., and Springfield Ambassador Program – City of Springfield Main Street Renaissance

Economic Restructuring: Downtown Living – Winchester First

For photos and project descriptions, see the Kentucky Heritage Council Web site,

The program also honored community volunteers of the year and recognized Main Street managers for their years of service (following).  The ceremony took place at the recently restored Grand Theatre in Frankfort and was hosted by Chris Black of Paducah, Kentucky Heritage Council Chair.  Lauren Adkins, Assistant Director of the National Trust Main Street Center, gave a keynote presentation on Main Street in the 21st Century, noting how small, locally-based businesses are uniquely positioned to survive and thrive in financial downtowns and why rural Main Streets are the economic lifeblood of Kentucky.

Guest presenters were Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow, Deputy Secretary Lindy Casebier, Kentucky Heritage Council Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Mark Dennen, and Kentucky Main Street Program Coordinator Becky Gorman.

Since 1979, the Kentucky Main Street Program has provided technical assistance and training to more than 100 Kentucky communities.  Program managers are hired locally, directed by a volunteer board and work closely with business owners, volunteers and elected officials to achieve local objectives.

In partnership with Renaissance on Main, the Kentucky Main Street Program has generated more than $3 billion of public-private investment in Kentucky communities over the last 30 years.  In 2007 alone, Kentucky Main Street Programs reported more than $620 million invested in downtowns, representing the creation of 777 new jobs in Main Street districts, 330 new businesses, 264 downtown buildings rehabilitated and 64,000+ volunteer hours invested.

Kentucky Main Street Program Volunteers of the Year
Laura Popham, Bellevue
Linda Smith, Beattyville
Tom Wheatley, Cloverport
Paula Gearon, Hodgenville
Martha Alls, Murray
Jeff Crowe, Tour SEKY
Wanda Hawkins, Shelbyville
John Parker Wharton, Springfield
Dorcas Gilbert, Vanceburg
Judy Woolums, Wilmore

Kentucky Main Street Program Service Awards
5+ Years
Danny Craig, Ashland
Rita Riley, Bardstown
Jody Robinson, Bellevue
Donna Logsdon, Campbellsville
Sam Burgess, Carrollton
Kathie Hickey, Covington
Dana Beth Lyddan, Elizabethtown
Traci Robinson, Guthrie/Trenton
Elizabeth O. Powell, Harlan
Matthew W. Meunier, Jeffersontown
Diane Bonfert, Lexington
Carol Hensley, Louisville
Daron Jordan, Madisonville
Terri C. Alderman, Morehead
Nell R. Haydon, Springfield
Laura Tipton, Mount Sterling
Deana Wright, Murray
Bob Yoder, Newport
Pati Porter, Olive Hill
S. Darlene Gooch, Russellville
Patty Kennard, Vanceburg
Margaret Morgan, Wilmore
Lara Thornbury, Winchester

10+ Years
Cheryl Blaine, Bowling Green
Julie Wagner, Danville
Sonny Monroe, Franklin/Simpson
Mary Lou Brock, Lebanon
Donna Clements, Morganfield
Eilene Collins, Shelbyville
Mary Middleton, Stanford

15 Years
Duff Giffen, Maysville

20 Years
Julie K. Turnipseed, Henderson

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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens.  This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.


Last Updated 10/23/2009