Daily Archive for November 02 2009
The following is a message from President/CEO Matthew Ballard and Chairman Jack Rossi.
Last week’s HallowEast celebration was a howling success, and East End Main Street has definite cause to continue its largest fundraiser next October.
The four-day event included a popular art exhibit, children’s activities, a block party, a murder mystery and a blood drive. Of course, its climax was the appearance of Sam Trammell, Charleston native and star of HBO’s “True Blood.”
His participation helped bring in funds to support of EEMS. Just as important, however, he helped shine a spotlight on the organization and its work, which is critical to the East End’s growth and progress.
Through a partnership with the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, EEMS has been able to salvage countless historic architectural salvage items from homes slated for demolition on the East End. Through those LemonAID sales, EEMS has raised more than $5,000 and kept priceless historic home fixtures and furnishings out of the landfills. This project has garnered statewide attention and the Cultural Resource Preservation Award from the City of Charleston in 2009.
EEMS currently is providing a WiFi connection to the East End business districts in an effort to create more walking and business traffic and spur positive economic development. The East End Wireless project has taken the East End business districts one step closer to the most progressive neighborhood in the state through providing a free service that is available anywhere on Washington and Smith Streets.
In June 2009, EEMS unveiled StreetWorks, a public arts initiative that turned Washington Street into a mile-long art gallery. Thirty artists from around the Charleston area created art indicative of the East End. Those images were placed on streetscape banners and placed on the new lamp posts on the Washington Street business corridor.
The eTote program is an innovative creation from the EEMS Clean, Green and Safe committee. Through a grant from the Chase Foundation, EEMS designed and executed the first eco-friendly shopping program in Charleston. The idea is simple. Bring your eTote into your favorite East End restaurant or shop and if you use it for carry-out items instead of using a plastic shopping bag, you receive a discount on your purchases. So far, seven East End businesses are participating in the eTote program and that number is growing every month. EEMS hopes to be the pioneer for this eco-friendly movement and halt the use of environmentally harmful plastic bags.
In addition, EEMS has worked diligently since 2002 to improve and revitalize the economic, social and physical environment on Charleston’s historic East End. Lending design expertise and granting funds for façade rehabilitation to property owners on Smith and Washington Streets, East End Main Street has been an impetus for nearly 30 rehabilitation projects, new constructions and public spaces.
We could go on and on about East End Main Street’s successes and projects, but this space doesn’t allow for it. We’re just happy EEMS is getting the recognition it deserves, and with growing support, we’re confident we’ll have a whole lot more to brag about in the near future.
While events such as the ArtMares exhibit and “Main Street Murder Mystery, along with the HallowEast Blood Drive and Trick or Treat, were big hits, the highlight was Sam Trammell’s appearance Friday.
The “True Blood” star and Charleston native met fans at the Cultural Center before headlining “Inside the Main Street Studio” at Kanawha Players. Host David Wohl asked intriguing and thoughtful questions, and the standing-room-only crowd offered a standing ovation after the 45-minute discussion.
We want to thank Suddenlink Business and all our HallowEast partners, as well as Sam Trammell, for making HallowEast a howling success. We can’t wait to do this again next October.