Like many communities in Iowa, Jefferson is promoting its newly renovated downtown
area with its program, Jefferson Matters: Main Street mission. To be apart of the Main
Street Community means that your city must participate in Main Street workshops and
training events to be implemented back into your city. Alan Robinson, the Jefferson
Matters: Main Street (JM:MS) program director, attended the Main Street Iowa Fall
Workshop held in Des Moines in November. He said that “the point (of the workshop)
was made several times that to successfully recruit and retain board and committee
members, a nonprofit organization must clearly explain the individual’s required duties
and time commitment.” He added that even though Jefferson is new to the program, he
was surprised to find out how organized their JM:MS Board, Executive Committee and
Organization Committee members were at recruiting its volunteers.

The latest project for Jefferson in moving forward with the JM:MS project is renovating
its historic movie theater and bringing in digital format to attract more businesses and
customers. In Washington, Iowa, they had a renovation and reopening fundraiser for its
Grand Opera House building. There were “pre-gala” concerts held with various local
bands playing free concerts with the cover charges going to the Fort Madison Main Street
project. The featured event included a “red carpet” gathering and a champagne reception
in the movie theater lobby. Main Street Washington sold about 200 tickets and had 119
volunteers and three sponsors which raised about $14,000.

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