From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director

Changes to the board, new fundraisers, upcoming events
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Greetings friends of Grayling Main Street (GMSt)!  I am so glad to be back and cannot wait to get back up to speed on the last two weeks. One would be surprised at the number things that can happen in a program, with great momentum and dedicated volunteers, in a seemingly short period of time!
First things first, thank you Stacy and Shannon for writing in my absence. I hope everyone enjoyed their reflections and projections for GMSt. 
Now, to answer the question you have all been asking for the last two weeks, where has Rae been? I am kidding!  I know some of you were probably wondering that, but really, you all want to know what has happened in Downtown Grayling in the past few weeks.
As you may have gathered from the last two installments, we had some changes to our board. At the June board meeting we held elections for new officers, as is customary for our June board meeting. The changing of officers is vital to the sustainability of our program; it offers us the opportunity for fresh ideas, to maintain momentum, and to avoid burning out our dedicated volunteers. We have three elected officer positions; Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer. Coming into these roles are Stacy DeVries-McIsaac as Chairperson, Timothy Rombach as Vice-Chairperson, and our former Chairperson Shannon Sorenson will continue as an officer in the Treasurer role.  
Another notable event during my hiatus was a presentation from Project Rising Tide (PRT) consultants, to city council and the GMSt board, as well as any public in attendance at the city council meeting on July 10. John Iacoangeli with Beckett & Raeder, Inc. and Joe Borgstrom with Place & Main Advisors, LLC shared valuable information regarding Tax Increment Financing (TIF), assessments, and Principle Shopping Districts (PSD). They shared how these tools have been used in other communities, similar in size to ours, to effect change, by funding public space (capital) projects, assisting property owners through the creation of local grant programs, and supporting funding option for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and GMSt’s operational costs. We are looking forward to further exploration of these options for our community and analyzing their potential impacts.
Finally, during Meeting Madness, the third week of the month, our committees met to discuss the status of their projects and prepare for the next steps. Highlights of these meetings include progress on our upcoming Paddle Battle event and our new fundraisers starting as early as this week.  
We are looking for more volunteers for the day of Paddle Battle, as well as ramping up for paddler registration. Stop in at the GMSt Paddle Battle tent on Saturday, at the Food Court, for more information about this event and how you can be a part of the fun. We are also kicking off a new fundraiser for GMSt; starting this week, you can find GMSt socks at Tip’n The Mitten, and at our event tents going forward. Proceeds from the sale of the socks will support events and programming hosted by GMSt. The Design Committee is also planning a fundraising project for bike racks and a bike repair stand for our downtown.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk.  You can also check out our website,, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt 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 hair will be next. 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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