Thursday, November 3, 2016

15th Anniversary Gala Press Release

What better way to celebrate 15 years of events, accomplishments and service to Franklin residents and businesses than with a big party? That’s what the Franklin Downtown Partnership thinks, too!

Join the FDP and friends at its anniversary fundraiser gala on Saturday, November 12, at THE BLACK BOX for an evening of fine food, fundraising and music. Doors open at 6 p.m. and there will be a cash bar. Attire is “cocktail party.”  

 “With our 15th Anniversary Gala we are first celebrating the accomplishment of many of the goals we started with 15 years ago. Secondly, we are recognizing how the FDP has taken on a new shape through the new vision created by a growing body of members who care about the downtown. Thirdly, we are acknowledging that no change occurs without the hard work and dedication of many volunteers,” says Jane Curran, owner of Jane’s Frames, founding member of the FDP and gala co-organizer.  

“Our Gala gives everyone who has been involved in the downtown revitalization projects over the past 15 years a chance to celebrate together and to look forward to the next chapter in our town,” adds Nicole Fortier, Partnership president. 

The party will be about and by some of the best Franklin has to offer. Bob Ward, Franklin resident and FOX25 news reporter, will emcee the festivities. Enjoy music by local band Ben Gardner’s Boat, featuring attorney and state representative Jeff Roy on guitar. Restaurant 3 will cater delicious hearty appetizers and a pasta station, and gala guests will bid on exciting auction and raffle items and baskets of goodies donated by local merchants.

Tickets are on sale now for $100 each. There are two ways to purchase tickets: online at (includes a $5.99/ticket service fee) or in person at Jane’s Frames. Tickets will be available through Tuesday, November 2.

Proceeds from ticket sales, auction and raffle items, and sponsorships will help financially support the Partnership’s future efforts as a voice of downtown Franklin and operation of its events.

The Partnership is grateful for the generous sponsorship of the gala. Dean Bank is a Platinum sponsor of this event. Bronze sponsors are Franklin Public Schools Lifelong Learning Institute, Local Town Pages, Middlesex Savings Bank and the Town of Franklin.

Friends sponsors are Dean College, Green Mountain Chocolates, Hockomock Area YMCA’s Bernon Family Branch, Jane’s Frames, Suzanne Ranieri, Sally’s Alley and Simon’s Furniture.

Attending the gala gives guests a good way to connect with the community at large, along with business leaders, town staff and government officials. It’s also an opportunity to see the FDP’s impact on the revitalization of Franklin’s downtown, according to co-organizer Beth Wierling.

“Every time I walk and drive through downtown I see the results of community involvement. I live downtown and I want the area to be the place to go to shop, eat and do errands. Being a member of the Franklin Downtown Partnership enables me to have a voice and truly help revitalize Franklin’s already great downtown,” says Wierling.

In 2001, eight business owners and residents who were interested in revitalizing the town’s downtown center created the non-profit Franklin Downtown Partnership. By 2015 the organization had grown to nearly 200 member businesses, groups and residents, many of whom have been members for more than 10 years.

The Partnership is well known for creating and running the popular Harvest Stroll, Holiday Stroll and Strawberry Stroll events. It’s also had a hand in at least 25 projects over the past 15 years, including new buildings on East Central and Summer streets, greenspace installations, downtown gateway signs, and creation of a statue in front of the Historical Museum. The group was heavily involved in planning the recently completed Downtown Streetscape and Roadway Improvement project.

 “I’m most proud of the changes in our downtown as older buildings have been replaced or restored, building owners have taken a new pride in their property, and many traffic issues have been solved,” says Curran. “Our downtown has become a welcoming, vibrant community that we can all be proud of.” 

For more information about the 15th Anniversary Gala, to donate auction and raffle items, or to sponsor the event, contact Jane Curran,, or Beth Wierling,

The Franklin Downtown Partnership welcomes volunteers and new members. To learn more about the group, it’s history, it’s events, and how you can get involved, visit