Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 14, 2013

Awards thrice as nice for Main Street

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Praise and accolades seem to be developing as a regular result of efforts from those involved with Main Street Pauls Valley.

However, for MSPV Director Samantha Robb, her involvement along with several other volunteers was only partly to thank for coming away with three big Oklahoma Main Street wins at this year’s awards banquet. She attributes most of the credit to the community itself and how different parts from the city government to businesses and said volunteers went out of their way to earn being honored for improvements over the past year.

“This year I streamlined it and concentrated only on things I thought that the judges might be looking for,” said Robb, noting how in years past the organization was happy to just be finalist and it was a pleasant surprise since they didn’t even get that much at the last banquet. “That’s the thing to remember, these are all nominations for Pauls Valley… We don’t do that all by ourselves, so while it’s the state Main Street that awards them I consider them Pauls Valley’s awards.”

Out of 14 total categories with submissions by Robb this time around, two were actually for work completed on the Main Street Office/Arts & Cultural Center. It’s particularly impressive considering that in her time here, there had been only one other occasion the organization had won a competitive award at this level, which was in 2010 for the restoration of the Yeatts Furniture neon sign.

The two trophies received for the office were for Best Facade Restoration over $10,000 as well as Best Public Improvement Project, and while the work by the city did not restore everything to exact standards set for historical preservation, it was done in a way that complimented the structure’s early beginnings, according to Robb. It also helped bring a bit more comfort that all their investments were paying off even after harder times came, including a drop in funding like sponsorship as well as a removal of what they used to receive from the city in the previous year.

“I nominated it in three categories and we won it in two categories,” said Robb, noting how their operating location will only serve to benefit the organization for years to come, especially once they are able to finish the rest of the first floor and beyond. “This could be a wonderful event center once it’s all finished. Our main goal now is to raise funding, maybe get a grant or two and complete the first story. We love being in our new home.”

On the other award front, they came away with the top honor for Creative New Event thanks to what was accomplished by the Living Dead Center Festival, said Robb. They were able to share that award with a couple of out of town zombies who happened to buy tickets to the banquet and it put them above the competition due to activities like the Zombie 5K Run or Monster Ball.

All of these wins provide hope of even more exposure for Pauls Valley in the future, which Robb thinks could be just around the corner thanks to another impressive month celebrating all things Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. As with last year when an a new award was created through OG&E to honor the imaginations that came up with the PV Arts Council Trash in Fashion Show, there is potential for new accolades as that again gained nation attention with this year’s winner covered by a national fashion magazine. Add to that other new additions in April like the Recycling Center as well as community garden.

Of course, Robb noted how future success is going to take a continued, if not increase, in generosity when it comes to donations if they are going to be able to meet their mission of outreach. It’s something she feels is worth any struggle.

“I hope it’s a good foundation for the future,” said Robb. “I think this is an exciting start... We’ll continue to promote all things Pauls Valley as we can.”