The City of Clinton Main Street Organization has nominated Vickie Crane, director of the Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as the City of Clinton Main Street Champion for 2012, with local officials lauding her commitment to all things Clinton.
A native of Sampson County, Crane joined the Sampson CVB in 2010 and quickly immersed herself in everything Clinton and Sampson, to include a variety of large events in the downtown and surrounding area.
“Vickie has been one of the city’s most active volunteers in the Clinton Main Street Program,” said Clinton-Sampson planning director Mary Rose. “From helping organize Christmas in the City events to staffing the Alive After Five concert series, she is one of the first to arrive and last to leave.”
Crane previously served as program director for the Arts Council of Topeka, Kan., and exhibition manager for the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. Since her return to Sampson, she has actively participated as a committee member for the Alive After Five concert series, Christmas in the City and the annual Court Square Street Fair and Barbecue Cook-off.
“Vickie is always willing to help when called upon and has a positive attitude that inspires those around her,” Rose said. “All of these qualities make her an asset to the Clinton Main Street Program.”
Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Urban Development division in the Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Development.
In 1980, North Carolina was one of six original states, selected from 38 that applied, to launch the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. The N.C. Main Street program began with five participating cities — New Bern, Salisbury, Shelby, Tarboro and Washington — in September 1980 and has since grown to include more than 60 communities across the state.
In 1982, Clinton was one of five communities chosen for the second round of Main Street programs created, with 2012 marking the local Main Street program’s 30th anniversary.
Each year, each Main Street Community can nominate or recognize one Main Street Champion. The Clinton Development Corporation Board, the city of Clinton’s Main Street Advisory Committee, usually discusses the topic at one of their meetings.
This year, they chose Crane.
“They give careful consideration to whom they choose and recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to downtown within that year, whether it be a building project, new business locating downtown or an individual such as Vickie who has given her time and energy to assisting us with making downtown Clinton the best it can be,” said Rose. “A great many individuals work very hard for our downtown, and it is often a very difficult decision as to whom to nominate.”
Past Clinton Main Street Champions have contributed significantly locally. As a Main Street Champ, Crane now joins the company of George Wilson, Hal Stewart, Beth Stewart, Ann Thornton, Frank Butler, Patricia Garey, Greg Thornton, Margaret Spivey, Ernest Beard, Jack and Patsy Waters, W.F. and Geraldine Carr, Vince Burgess and David and Jeannie King.
“Once you have been honored as a champion you are always one and cannot be nominated a second time,” Rose noted.
She touted the program with recognizing many who are worthy of that recognition. The local Main Street Champions are recognized at the N.C. Main Street Conference each year along with the many others from other Main Street communities. This year’s will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Salisbury.
Rose said she looks forward to hearing stories about other Main Street Champions nominated from communities across the state.
“It is a wonderful way to recognize those who make our Main Street communities such wonderful places,” she said.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.