Byline: Submitted by Pam Hume
MainStreet Libertyville, a nationally recognized and accredited not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization celebrated its 30th year April 25.
The group's mission is to preserve and promote downtown Libertyville. A yearlong celebration will be incorporated into the organization's more than 50 days of events and festivals.
Thirty years ago, downtown Libertyville's facades were in need of a facelift and the storefront occupancy rate was only 70 percent. Through the foresight of community leaders and the village board, the MainStreet program was launched.
"I remember seeing the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street presentation and thinking that was just what was needed to revitalize a sleepy, uninspiring Libertyville downtown," said Dan Mayworm, affectionately known as the "founder" of the organization.
Under the guidance of the national Main Street America organization, the cumulative success of the program at the local level has earned the reputation as one of the most powerful economic revitalization tools in the nation.
In 1997, MainStreet Libertyville was presented the Great American Main Street award by the National Main Street Center, recognizing the downtown as a national model for historic preservation and economic revitalization.
And in Libertyville, for the year ending in 2018, total public and private investment in the downtown business district totaled more than $60 million, generating new businesses and jobs.
"It hardly seems possible that 30 years have gone by, yet so much has been accomplished," Mayworm said. "We had no idea whether or not the Libertyville community would support the (MainStreet) effort with contributions and volunteer hours, but boy, did they ever!
"Quite unlike many other towns, Libertyville residents showed their pride and support of the town by raising all the necessary funds and contributing many, many volunteer hours to make the program a success."
In addition to events and programs, MainStreet Libertyville established and maintains year-round building roofline lights, offers educational opportunities to businesses, and serves as a marketing hub for the downtown area and member organizations.
Enthusiastic MainStreet volunteers host the Libertyville farmers market, Dickens of a Holiday, Out to Lunch, Car Fun on 21, Wine About Winter, Chef Fest, a historic home tour, MainSweet Dessert Walk and an annual golf outing.
Volunteers are the backbone of the organization. MainStreet Libertyville volunteers, on average, log a total of about 4,000 hours annually. The premise then, and now, is simple: support from the community is a key component to a vibrant downtown.
Whether it is volunteering at events, shopping or dining downtown or membership in the MainStreet organization, it is the sense of pride that is unmistakable among the merchants and residents in downtown Libertyville.
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|Publication:||Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)|
|Date:||May 11, 2019|
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