Volunteers run the Downtown Franklin Association. Who are they?…What do they do?…
Stop and think! Have you ever attended We Be Jammin’ - Patriotism in the Park - the Easter Egg Hunt - the Elf Parade - Main Street Halloween - the Fall Festival street fair? These, and others, are all events that offer the citizens of Franklin (and beyond) family fun and entertainment. It is no small effort that brings these events to life.
The DFA officers, Board members, and Executive Director Dan Howe meet monthly to plan and direct the events offered to the public, as well as to carry on the business of the organization. In addition, the four committees, established under the guidelines from Main Street USA, meet monthly to work on numerous projects and to advance the cause of improving our downtown. Committee work has created Adopt-A-Planter, Business Spotlight, the DFA newsletter, a photo contest highlighting Franklin, and a Guide to Shops, Services and Parking, among others. In addition, a group of retail shop owners - the Downtown Divas and Dudes - offer special events such as their Spring Fling, fashion shows, Whose Got The Button?, and sidewalk sales offering specials and discounts.
The DFA has built the concession stand and bathroom facilities at Barrett’s Landing. They have partnered with the City and other private organizations and citizens to build the Farmers’ Market Pavilion. They partnered with the City, the Beautification Committee, CSX, and Virginia Main Street to build the Second Avenue gateway sign and landscaping as you come across the Holland-Councill Bridge from Isle of Wight. They have partnered for many more street-scaping projects along with façade and security grant programs. All of these projects create a safer and more aesthetically pleasing downtown. These projects enhance our historic downtown and make positive strides to create the vision of downtown that will draw new businesses, retain and support existing businesses, and bring visitors and citizens to live, shop, work, and enjoy life in a vibrant rural downtown. The DFA assists with the community Christmas Parade and creates a DFA float, as well as, providing our Franklin Santa Claus. Dan Howe works with the City Beautification Commission when their efforts involve the downtown area, and he attends many City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings when their business affects our Downtown.
So who, besides our ever busy Executive Director, does all of this?
A majority of the volunteers are business owners in Downtown Franklin. They are on the Board of the DFA and comprise the officers and committee members, all the while running their own businesses.
There is also a cadre of citizens, community businesses employee volunteers who assist by manning the desk at the Visitor/Franklin Depot; helping to set up and break down We Be Jammin’; passing out event flyers; participating in the Christmas Parade preparations; and, helping with many other event set-ups. It takes a lot of hours and a lot of work, and volunteers make it happen.
We need you, Franklin! Our on-going events need help and support. Everything counts and helps. One hour a week covering the visitor center desk and phones would earn you our gratitude and, hopefully, give you some pride in knowing that you have supported your local downtown and its efforts. If you can spare some time, please call the DFA office at 562-6900 and let us know about your availability and talents. If you, your family, and friends have enjoyed some or all of our events, and, if our community is going to grow and thrive - well, it really does “take a village.”