Main Street Kent gave seven awards to some of its most notable volunteers and supporters at the MSK Awards Celebration on Oct. 7 at the Kent Historical Society Museum.
Board members, city of Kent and Kent State partners, business owners, committee members and MSK staff gathered to celebrate a productive and successful 2021 to date.
“It was so good to be together again, toasting to a productive year and celebrating the incredible people who help us do our work,” said Heather Malarcik, executive director of Main Street Kent.
The MSK Volunteer of the Year went to Kelly Dietrick, artist owner of Troppus Projects, specifically noting her collaboration and hosting of the “Something’s got to GIVE” art show/fundraiser in August, contributions to the development of a new public art advisory board, and her recently completed GROW mural, on the back of the Hall-Green Agency building in downtown Kent.
The MSK Committee Member of the Year went to Josh Rider, chair of the Business Enhancement Committee, for his excellent work and leadership, his help forging connections with Kent State and downtown businesses, and exemplary service as a volunteer.
The MSK Project Committee Member of the Year went to Alex Catanese of Each + Every, who has been instrumental in the 3-D KENT Public Art project, which will come to life on N. Water St. in the coming months. Alex has helped with project planning, working with engineers, fabricators, and others to get the project off the ground and grant writing which helped secure funds from the Ohio Arts Council for the project.
The Adopt-A-Spot Volunteer of the Year went to Richele Charlton of The Kent Stage, who creates a wonderful garden display in the flowerbed in front of the business. With varying plant types, heights, and colors, Richele was recognized for her thoughtful and creative planting and design of the flowerbed.
The recipient of the President’s Award was Dave Ruller, Kent City Manager. Dave has shown unwavering support and appreciation of the work Main Street Kent does for Kent businesses and the community, especially during the pandemic when Dave remarked that “our businesses need Main Street Kent now more than ever.”
MSK’s Business of the Year went to North Water Brewing Company for successfully opening in the midst of a pandemic, hosting and sponsoring the first ever MSK 5K, and their “Good Beer Doing Good” program which supports a different local cause each month.
The Spirit of Main Street award went to Dylan Ball, MSK board member and Design Committee chair, for his great leadership and energy, willingness to handle any task, support of the Adopt A Spot program, and countless hours of event work for the organization.
All of these people, and many others, are the driving force of Main Street Kent. With two full-time staff, the organization relies on thousands of volunteer hours to continuously work toward making downtown Kent a fun, vibrant and thriving place. “Our city and our community help us to be the ‘bright spot’ people need during good times and bad in Kent. We’re happy to do this work and have the support of such wonderful people,” Malarcik said.