Main Street Delaware board member and volunteer Jason Allison is being honored by the Heritage Ohio organization with its 2020 “Spirit of Main Street” Award.
Allison, who also serves as spiritual formation pastor at Press Church in Delaware, is receiving the award as part of Heritage Ohio Preservation Month celebration in October. Heritage Ohio is the state’s official historic preservation and the Main Street coordinating organization.
“This award recognizes long-term leadership and dedication to advancing a community through its local Main Street program,” said Susie Bibler, executive director of Main Street Delaware. “Jason is the perfect recipient. He embodies its ideals and contributes so much to everything Main Street Delaware undertakes and achieves. I am grateful for his leadership and friendship.”
Allison first became involved with Main Street Delaware in the summer of 2006, when he began volunteering at its First Friday celebrations. As the monthly event grew, his role evolved until he was single-handedly managing the sign-up, coordination, and locating of up to 70 vendors each month. With a few helpers, he even directed traffic and helped the vendors set up their booths.
While he happily turned over vendor coordination in 2018 when Main Street Delaware brought on its second employee, Allison’s efforts didn’t end with First Fridays.
Over the past 14 years, he has served Main Street Delaware as an active member, including roles on the MSD Board of Directors, Organization Committee, Promotions Committee, and Christmas Subcommittee. On the board, Allison has served as both Main Street Delaware’s president and vice president.
And these weren’t just titles to Allison – they were commitments to Main Street Delaware to help transform the historic downtown into the vibrant, welcoming destination it is today. Nearly everything Main Street Delaware has accomplished over the past decade has his fingerprints on it.
As much as Allison has done to enhance downtown Delaware, one project stands out in demonstrating the “Spirit of Main Street” that he embodies: the Summer on Winter concert series.
In 2019, he developed the idea of family-oriented street concerts to draw people downtown on weeknights. Allison booked The Hoo Doo Soul Band, the Reaganomics, and Shucking Bubba Deluxe for the inaugural concert series. Thousands of people attended the events, everyone had fun, and businesses were packed. Allison’s plan – and his scores of volunteer hours – had tangibly increased the vibrancy of downtown Delaware.
Allison’s personal goal has always been “to make whatever town I live in a better place while I’m there.” Through his ideas, his leadership, and his volunteer work with Main Street Delaware, he has reached his goal and exceeded it over and over again.
“Jason has altered the landscape of downtown,” Bibler said, “and Delaware is a better community for it.”
Main Street Delaware is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) member-supported organization that seeks to preserve and promote historic downtown Delaware. For additional information, contact 740-362-6050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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