Downtown Washington Inc. is looking to make a few new “friends.”
The organization has launched its annual Friends membership drive with a mass mailing.
“We realize our efforts to maintain Washington’s historic downtown district would be short-lived without supporting friends,” said Bridgette Epple, executive director.
“We hope people will recognize the importance of our mission and find a way to support it,” she said.
The downtown group is sending out information on how to become a friend to every resident in the city. The mailer includes a letter from Epple explaining what the organization does and some of its projects, a magnet with upcoming special events, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for people to mail in a donation.
Also, a coupon for 20 percent off the purchase of a collectable Downtown Washington Inc. ornament is included. This offer is good for a one-time purchase and applies to past ornaments and pre-orders for the 2012 Christmas ornament.
“The letter details who we are, what we do, why we do it and how they can help,” Epple said.
Downtown Washington Inc.’s mission is to promote an attractive and financially stable downtown while preserving our historic resources and enriching the community, she said.
The organization was formed in 1989 when the city of Washington was selected as one the first five pilot communities for the Missouri Main Street Program. Downtown Washington Inc. has maintained its status as a Missouri Main Street Program and as a National Main Street Community to this day.
The organization was recognized in 2000, 2001 and 2002 as one of the 20 semifinalists in the Great American Main Street Awards and this year won the award — the highest honor a Main Street Program can receive.
“We have a lot to be proud of and if nothing else, the Friends campaign is really about bringing awareness and educating residents on what we do,” Epple said.
The Friends campaign offers several membership levels beginning at $50 on up. Those who sign up during this drive will receive a Sunset ticket book containing six tickets for beer and wine at the outdoor event held the fourth Thursday of the month through October.
“If you donate at a higher level, you receive even more benefits,” said Epple. These benefits include:
$100 — One entry to the Chili Cook-Off.
$250 — Holiday House Tour and Murder Mystery ticket.
$500 — Art Fair and Winefest ticket, Main Street Barbecue & Bluefest People’s Choice ticket and an ornament.
$1,000 — Two tickets to each downtown event.
Each level includes the previous level’s gifts as well, Epple noted.
“Other benefits of becoming a Friend are being added to our mailing list, being invited to attend quarterly meetings, and being listed as a supporter in the annual Invitation magazine,” she said.
The letter and magnet also feature Downtown Washington Inc.’s new logo.
“We’re excited about the new logo which, along with our name, depicts the three buildings we own — our 1834 log cabin at the corner of Second and Jefferson streets which had been our offices; the Farmers’ Market; and the downtown post office, which we purchased and renovated and now operate as a contract postal unit and use for our offices,” she said.
Epple said the Friends campaign will officially wrap up at the end of September, although people may join at any time.