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Absence of Downtown Ambassadors noticeable

One of Downtown PKB’s successful projects from 2019 was the development and implementation of the Downtown Ambassador Program for ongoing cleanup efforts, coordinated and managed by our friends at the United Way of the MOV and staffed by our ambassadors from Recovery Point. From August of 2019 to March of this year, our Ambassadors have impacted almost two dozen businesses, removed over 4 tons of street debris, and devoted more than 2,000 man-hours to our downtown. All the while, advocating for recovery and reconnecting a community with their willingness to volunteer.

In March of this year, our Ambassadors were hard at work helping a local Market Street business with their facade improvements. Plans for street clean up were well underway with spring just around the corner and then our country was hit by COVID-19 pandemic. The Ambassadors were no longer able to leave Recovery Point for their community service due to safety measures put in place to protect the gentlemen and prevent their exposure. That was almost 4 months ago.

Downtown PKB’s cleanup efforts were also put on hold this spring due to COVID-19 for our annual Cleanup/Greenup event scheduled for May 16th. As you may have noticed, our downtown streets desperately need attention that was so graciously being taken care of by our Ambassadors. That is where several members of our community have rallied together to step up and help out.

On Sunday, July 5 at 9 a.m., volunteers are gathering to perform the Market Street Sweep, from the 13th & Market Street to the 4th & Market. Volunteers are being coordinated by Avery Street Historic District residents Lee Rector and Wayne Waldeck. Volunteers will be asked to social distance while cleaning weeds, picking up trash, and mulching. If you’re interested in helping, plan to join the community volunteers at 9 a.m. on 13th and Market Street. At the end of the cleanup, Napoli’s will provide pizza to the volunteers in Bicentennial Park. We thank our business owners, residents, and community members for stepping up to provide the capacity that Downtown PKB needs during this time.

Now more than ever our Ambassadors are needed. Project layouts for the restart of the Ambassador Program have begun. New, as well as established business owners, have called the United Way office to request a helping hand during their reopening. “The first step will be to canvas the downtown streets and make sure they are a reflection of the beautiful city we live in. Our hope is to see the florescent Ambassador vests among our downtown again soon,” says Sara Hess, Community Impact Director at the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

For more information on how you or your business can contribute to the Downtown Ambassador Program, contact me at wendy@downtownkb.com.

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Wendy Shriver is the executive director of Downtown PKB.

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