The Oklahoma Main Street Program honored Main Street communities, organizations and individuals for their outstanding achievements in 23 areas of importance to the overall Main Street program.
Durant received trophies for Marie’s, Online Presence and the Durant High School Service Learning Project. Marie’s won for Best Business Practices which featured information on the work ethic of the owners Marie Morrow and Annette Armstrong, the customer service focus, and community service.
Durant Main Street’s online presence is guided by web designer Chris Pierce. The recently redesigned Web site can be found at www.durantmainstreet.org. The organization monitors how the public is utilizing the Web site as well as where visitors live. Twitter and Facebook posts flow to the homepage to keep everyone updated on the latest news.
LoAnn Latona designed the Durant High School Service Learning Project. Her students learn while they contribute six hours of service to Durant Main Street per semester. Main Street Office Assistant Carla Dillard coordinates hours with the students, and they write a summary of what they did and what they learned. Almost all students say they have fun while serving the community.
Approximately 650 people attended the banquet. More than over 200 entries were nominated in 21 competitive award categories. The board member of the year from each town was recognized. Cindi Gill was chosen for the second year in a row as Durant’s board member of the year.
The 2010 Friend of Main Street went to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department for their efforts to promote Main Street communities. Durant was one of the downtowns featured in the January/February 2010 issue of Oklahoma Today published by the Department.
Durant’s other nominations receiving finalist status were:
— RanSherSu Building (façade rehab over $10,000)
— Skating on the Square (creative new event)
— Take 2 Boutique (best new business)
— Cardinal Glass (premier partner)
— 2nd Street Bakery (interior design)
Durant received its first statewide award in 2002 for Best Community Education/Public Awareness. The award was for the Web site www.durantmainstreet.org. In 2003, awards were received for outstanding program administration, best results in strengthening businesses and top economic restructuring project (The Group Health Insurance Program).
The two local awards receiving finalist status in 2004 were both chosen as winners. The Three Valley Museum received recognition for best façade renovation over $10,000, and the Pool Hall/Domino Parlor was awarded best façade renovation under $10,000.
In 2006, Mega Bull was named the best creative fundraising effort and Three Valley Museum received honors for best interior renovation. Newman Furniture won the window display award in 2007.
In 2008, Roma Italian Restaurant was named best new business and Market Square won best public improvement.
Durant won the prestigious four point award for their hard work on Skating on the Square in 2009. This is an award that is not given every year and Durant is only the second recipient in the 25-year history of the agency. It is given when a particular Main Street project or activity exemplifies the Main Street process and uses the comprehensive Four Point Approach to achieve success.
The annual awards banquet was held Tuesday in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. This year’s theme was “25th Anniversary” to celebrate the 25 years of existence for Oklahoma Main Street.
Durant Main Street Program Manager Donna Dow said, “Eight finalist nominations is the most we have received, and it is definitely a sign of all the progress. Downtown Durant has a lot of volunteers, activities, business owners and building owners who deserve the awards. We also had some strong nominations from other businesses and organizational efforts that didn’t receive top billing, and we are proud of these projects as well.”
The Oklahoma Main Street Program is a statewide downtown revitalization program providing training, resources and technical assistance to 41 active Main Street communities across Oklahoma. Main Street's preservation-based approach to business district revitalization has been scaled to the resources of small cities and urban neighborhood business districts. The Four Point Approach (Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring and Design) is used, and committees represent each point.
Starting with many small changes taking place over a period of years, Main Street builds local leadership and local commitment to care for and manage the area for many years. The groundwork laid by the local leadership demonstrates that the district is active and vital, attracting more and more investments into the area.
For information, call the Durant Main Street Program at 580-924-1550 or find them online.