From the Main Street Director’s Desk
New arrivals in 2016 for Grayling Main Street
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Executive Director
Grayling Main Street (GMSt) was off to a running start when 2016 began. Working with the City of Grayling and several other local organizations on the Project Rising Tide (PRT) initiative was going well, and GMSt was granted Branding and Marketing Services from Michigan Main Street. The GMSt team was also anticipating several new arrivals in and around the program.
In March of 2016 the search for an interim Main Street Manager began; it was in preparation for the then Director, Mrs. Danielle Stein-Seabolt, to take maternity leave. The work of the Director is integral in the success of the Main Street program. The Director’s role is focused on communication and coordination. This includes communication to the public, the city, the volunteers, and Michigan Main Street, as well as assisting with coordinating the moving parts of the program, and helping volunteers with coordination of resources. Therefore, the absence of the Director, even for a short time, could be a serious setback for the program.
That is where new arrival number one is introduced, me, as the interim manager for GMSt. My original purpose was to fill the time between the end of April and August 1, when Mrs. Seabolt would be on leave. At about that same time GMSt was approved to be a host site for an AmeriCorp VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America). That was new arrival number two, sort of. The plan was to offer me, or whoever had filled the interim position, the opportunity to transition to the VISTA role beginning in mid-August. It would allow for a shorter training gap, and higher effectiveness of the VISTA, who is only here for one year of service with our organization.
As a new resident to the Grayling area, and Michigan, I offered an alternative perspective to the projects, and I brought a different type of education and experience to the program. The program also needed someone who would be able to quickly learn the concept and procedures, be able to acclimate to an evolving program, as well as be flexible with work hours. I fit the bill best, of the several candidates that applied and interviewed. After several days of meet and greet tours around town, and administrative time to learn the resources and procedures of the office, arrival number three came. Baby Seabolt joined the world, and Mrs. Seabolt officially began leave.
As the summer moved along we experienced new arrival number four, the Paddle Battle. The Grayling Main Street Paddle Battle was the first fundraising event GMSt planned with the intention of being a fundraiser. While the first year of the event was a little rocky, as is common when introducing a new event to a program or community, it was still widely considered a success. The never-before-seen-in-Grayling event positioned two paddlers in one canoe, facing each other, and paddling in opposite directions. This innovative event was thought up and coordinated by GMSt business owners and volunteers. It drew inspiration from two of our community’s strengths, canoeing and competition. The canoe tug of war was wildly entertaining, the beer tent was full of tasty local brews, and we had more than 500 people on the 100 block of Michigan Avenue for an exciting afternoon.
Want to know what other new arrivals Downtown Grayling had in 2016, and more about how GMSt and PRT became a power couple? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Grayling Main Street Executive Director. She has been with the program since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her eye shadow and hair will be next.