Main Street Delaware held its annual gala and awards celebration April 12, honoring nine businesses and individuals for their outstanding commitment to preserving, protecting and promoting historic downtown Delaware during 2021.
Susie Bibler, Main Street Delaware’s executive director, and Zach Price, the organization’s 2020 and 2021 president, welcomed attendees to the gala and shared information from the group’s 2021 annual report.
“Thanks to you,” Price told the crowd, “we volunteered 3,020 hours during 2021 to help support events, including the downtown clean-your-block party, Farmers’ Market, First Friday celebrations, Summer on Winter concert series, and Home for the Holidays community Christmas.
“We also have collaborated with city, county, and community leaders to envision a comprehensive plan for the city and a revitalized east side,” said Price, a partner with TRIAD Architects. “We are so excited by all we have achieved together and invigorated by everything that we will accomplish ahead.”
A highlight of the evening came when award recipient Frank Reinhard presented Bibler with a surprise $5,000 contribution from One Delaware to complete fundraising for Main Street’s new Delaware Welcome Center, 20 E. William St. The center will open to the public as soon as renovations are complete this spring or early summer.
During the awards ceremony, the following businesses and individuals were honored for their 2021 contributions to downtown Delaware:
• Business of the Year – The Oak & Brazen Wine Company for meeting every pandemic-related challenge with enthusiasm and innovation, including adding pick-up hours and an online ordering system with doorstep delivery.
• Business Beacon – Staas Brewing Company, Delaware’s first brewery since prohibition, for its constant willingness to help and advise others new to microbrewing, including speaking at conferences sponsored by Heritage Ohio, which is committed to supporting small-business success.
• Business Innovator – Olivina Café & Bistro for its vision in transforming itself from a retail space to a bistro as it worked to maintain and widen its customer base, including making delicious foods utilizing its signature olive oils.
• Volunteer of the Year – Jorge Sanclemente for his volunteer work as Main Street Delaware’s graphic designer, creating all of the organization’s marketing materials and its eye-catching new logo, featuring the Delaware Welcome Center. In addition, he was honored for his work with Main Street Delaware’s Board of Directors, board committees and events.
• Community Inspiration – The Wonder Within for filling a need in the community with yoga and meditation classes, including free online classes during the pandemic and an ongoing commitment to providing three free classes each month to all emergency first responders and military members, active or veteran.
• Spirit of Main Street – Judy Domire for her longtime commitment to the Delaware community, including volunteer work with Main Street Delaware, the Northwest Neighborhood, the Delaware County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Kiwanis International, and more. Often the first person to sign up to volunteer, Domire also served on the Main Street board through 2021.
• Community Builder – Frank Reinhard, regional president of The First Citizens National Bank, for his strong support of Main Street Delaware and the new Delaware Welcome Center, and for his many years of community involvement with nonprofit organizations and municipal agencies, including the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce, Delaware County Fair, Delaware County Finance Authority, Delaware County Foundation, Delaware Rotary and One Delaware.
• Outstanding Leader – Zach Price for being a tireless advocate for historic preservation and his two years of service as president of the Main Street Delaware Board of Directors to help ensure continuity and success during the pandemic. Price also has served on Main Street’s Design and Organization committees, using his expertise as an architect to help with the Delaware Strategic Vision Plan, the Winter Street alleyway project, and the Delaware Welcome Center.
• Best Public Building Rehabilitation – The City of Delaware for its careful and creative renovation of the historic City Hall, which includes user-friendly and welcoming spaces for community members, updated technology, and new collaborative workspaces. Large murals also fill the new space in recognition of Delaware’s impressive history. Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle and City Manager Tom Homan accepted the award.
Main Street Delaware’s annual gala was held at the historic Strand Theatre and featured tastes from many downtown food and drink establishments. The evening was presented with sponsorship from the Byers Auto Group.
As she helped to conclude the evening’s presentations, Bibler told the crowd: “All of you help to make Delaware the wonderful community that it is. You inspire our work every day with your civic spirit, your creativity, and your commitment to improving your community and your world.”
Main Street Delaware is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) member-supported organization that seeks to preserve and promote historic downtown Delaware. In addition to coordinating the First Friday celebrations and downtown Farmers’ Markets, Main Street Delaware oversees the Home for the Holidays celebration and more. Main Street Delaware is an accredited Ohio Main Street Community.
Submitted by Main Street Delaware.