From Downtown Marion Board President Beth Meadows
I’ve been asked that question, why does Downtown matter, dozens of times. I’ve researched the statistical information of what it means to have a strong downtown district. In fact, you can check out the National Main Street website and get all the data you want. And, while it’s great information that one might find motivating – statistics are not MY reason.
I grew up on Bellevue Avenue, just a few blocks from Downtown Marion. As a child, my siblings and I would take a stroll down the street with our allowance of $1.00 to visit Kresge’s or G.C. Murphy. My mission; to find the sparkliest pair of plastic high heeled shoes available – for $1.00. Then I would wear them home, clopping like a Clydesdale all the way; having trouble keeping up with my brothers and sisters because the shoes wanted to fall off with every step.
MY reason for working so hard to bring life back to Marion’s downtown is because, like that child of decades ago, I believe it’s a really great place. Or, at least it has the potential to be. Unfortunately I can’t wiggle my nose and make a glamorous city appear, trust me I would if I could, it takes effort. It takes vision. It takes determination. It takes investment. It takes changing our words and our thoughts.
I am so grateful for citizens like Lois Fisher, Bob Hord, Dan Giles, Dale Kibbey and so many more who have not just SAID they want to see change, but have INVESTED in that change. Because of people like this many of our buildings have been preserved. There is still a lot left to accomplish and it’s going to take years to get there. BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
Recently The Marion Star shared an article highlighting a bit of the effort. If you didn’t get to read the article, take the time now. We’ve provided it for you. Share it with others. Find out what’s happening and get involved. Support our organization and INVEST in your downtown. Don’t wait for someone else to do it, YOU are the difference maker.
Ask yourself “what is MY reason” – then make that reason a reality.