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Accredited … Again

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

We were recently given the exciting news that our Main Street district as been designated an accredited Main Street America program for “meeting rigorous performance standards.” This honor came from the central Main Street organization for the country. We join 862 other such nationally accredited Main Street America programs.

This recognition is not something new. Our district has been honored regularly in past years. It still shows our consistency in working with Main Street New Jersey and Main Street America in upholding the ideals and mission of the Main Street program and providing quality programming services for our downtown—The Ave—and the people who work in, come to, and patronize the businesses in the district.

According to a statement from Main Street America: “In 2022, Main Street America programs generated $6.2 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 7,657 net new businesses, generated 29,174 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,688 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,528,535 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $24.07 of new investment back into their downtown communities.”

That brings me to another source of pride—our great volunteers. Our organization greatly depends on so many who help support our revitalization efforts downtown—from those who help plant flowers, to assist at our events and do so many others tasks—those who work hard, to the degree that they are able, to help make our events and initiatives realities. Yes, we have paid staff—and their work, too, is vital. It is the volunteers, however, from Board members, to team chairs, to team members, whether they are “all-the-timers” or “some timers”—who toil in the vineyards of community service to get the jobs done. The repayment is in the doing and the knowledge that they contributed meaningfully to sustainable revitalization programs. We’ll have a Volunteer Recognition Event later in the year, in conjunction with our A Taste of Vineland fundraiser. We’ll honor an outstanding volunteer then but, for now, all our volunteers deserve a pat on the back. Join our team and see for yourself the tremendous power of volunteerism.

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NEWS FLASH: Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union is now officially the major sponsor of the Food Truck Festival on The Ave, which returns to downtown Vineland for the sixth year on Sunday, August 27, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Landis Avenue and the Boulevard. We thank Members 1st for its support in being the major sponsor every year from the start. This sizzling mega-event, for which admission is free, is a highlight of the summer season and will feature over 25 food trucks and a packed lineup of continuous entertainment and activities. In addition, activities in the Kid’s Corner will include games, face painting, and sand art. Mark your calendar now and plan to stop by and visit the various non-food vendors on site, as well, including over 30 crafters. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

On the Ave