Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Press Release

Franklin Downtown Partnership Seeking Members, Sponsors

The Franklin Downtown Partnership has kicked off its annual membership and sponsorship drives for 2011 as it plans more events and involvement in Franklin this year.

The Partnership gained more than 50 new members in 2010 and hopes to increase its numbers again this year, according to Executive Director Lisa Piana. The 140-member strong organization brings together residents and businesses to improve the downtown, draw visitors and beautify the area.

“Being a member of the Franklin Downtown Partnership gives a business or resident a vehicle to be part of matters affecting our downtown’s future,” says Partnership President Nicole Fortier, branch officer at Dean Bank. “For an affordable price our members are involved in revitalization projects like the streetscape design work. We give them a voice in decisions that directly affect their businesses and their day-to-day lives.”

Membership also gives certain privileges at Franklin’s festivals and strolls, free links on the Partnership’s website, franklindowntownpartnership.org, communication updates on events and projects, and informational meetings and networking opportunities. Non-business memberships start as low as $15 for seniors and students and $25 for residents, and businesses’ dues are based on the number of employees. Dues are tax deductible.

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Partnership relies exclusively on membership dues and sponsorships for funding. Sponsorships make up the majority of funds for popular events like the annual Strawberry Stroll, the Harvest Festival, the Holiday Stroll, and spring and winter Beautification days. Each year attendance at those events has increased, according to Fortier.

On Saturday, May 21, the Partnership will join members of the Franklin Garden Club for the annual Beautification Day. Volunteers will plant more than 1,400 flowers throughout the downtown, including planters on the bridge and center island as well as on sidewalks in front of businesses. Sponsors’ names will be displayed prominently on signage in the center of town.

“All of those flowers are donated. We simply could not freshen up the downtown area with all of those gorgeous plantings if we didn’t have support from our sponsors and the countless volunteers who do all the hard work,” says Piana. “We are very proud of the impact those planters make every year, and we rely solely on outside support. We do a lot on a small budget and the impression on people coming to the downtown is positive and long lasting.”

New members are always welcome, and membership is open to all residents and businesses, regardless of whether they are located downtown. The Partnership is actively looking for businesses and individuals to sponsor all upcoming events. A full calendar of events, sponsorship opportunities, applications, deadlines, and contact information can be found on this website or by contacting Lisa Piana at (774)571-3109 or downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.