2016 Best Fundraising Effort
The Cherryville Main Street Program wanted to procure outdoor furniture for the Cherryville Mini-Park in order to improve its appearance and increase its use. The small, downtown park served as the primary site for festivals and events but it had otherwise been rarely used due to a lack of seating. The Cherryville Main Street Program proposed to raise half of the estimated $12,000 cost through private citizen donations and the City of Cherryville agreed to fund the other half. They developed a fundraising campaign-plan that called for its leadership to appeal to citizens who cherish the city and consider themselves "Friends of Cherryville," rather than requesting business or memorial donations. With an overall goal of attracting 36 donors to contribute a total of $6,000, each member of the Board of Directors and the Organization Work Group was charged with contacting three potential donors and collecting $500 in 90 days. The fundraising campaign exceeded its goal by raising $8,225 from more than 60 donors. The City contributed funds, ordered the furniture and installed it in April of 2016, in time for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
Cherryville now has an inviting downtown space for people to gather, sit, relax and visit with each other - a "third place." The project has also served as a catalyst for other fundraising efforts, attracting donations for two other downtown projects from businesses, organizations, citizens and the City of Cherryville.
The NC Department of Commerce – NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center congratulates Cherryville's Main Street Program for this great fundraiser that allowed the community to be part of improving their community.