Marshall Main Street will once again participate in the annual Percy Johnson Burn Foundation Camp I'm Still Me activities for young burn victims.
The decision to host a watermelon party and present a movie complete with popcorn and cold drinks was made by the Main Street Advisory Board meeting in regular session Tuesday morning. The board also elected Sam Moseley as its vice chairman and authorized the purchase of portable staging.
Bo Ellis, Main Street manager, told advisory board members that participation in the event, held at the Scottsville Camp and Conference Center, "is the most moving and rewarding thing you'll ever do."
He said last year he set up Main Street's inflatable screen and showed a movie to the approximately 75 camp participants from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The camp accepts children ages 4 to 17 who have had burn injuries. The camp is free for all children, including meals and supplies.
Ellis said the Main Street-sponsored events will be held on June 9, beginning with the watermelon party at 3 p.m. The movie presentation is slated to begin at about 6 p.m., he said.
Members of the advisory board will be assisting in the activities and invite anyone who wants to volunteer to contact Ellis at city hall.
In other action, the board approved the purchase of two portable platforms to be used as staging for Main Street-sponsored events.
"With our concert series, Words and Voices and workshops, we think we'll get almost monthly use out of them," Ellis explained. "We're looking to the future and trying to accommodate more performers."
The platforms, each a little larger than a standard sheet of plywood, are "sturdy, easy to handle and versatile," Ellis explained.
The board approved the $1,500 expenditure for the purchase.
Michael Tivet, chairman of the organization committee, reported that Marshall's three colleges East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College and Texas State Technical College will each decorate a window in the Sears building at the entrance to North Washington Avenue.
He said plans for this project were first discussed at the April 15 committee meeting as a way of making the entrance to the Washington Square District attractive to visitors and tourists.
Looking to future meetings, John Taylor, advisory board chairman, said he would like for the group to address the condition of streets and sidewalks in the downtown area.
He said some sidewalks in and around the Washington Square District, "even in the very core of downtown" have problems that should be addressed.
"I'm not necessarily pointing my finger at CenterPoint because there are some sidewalks not involved in their upgrades that have deteriorated for years and the city has done nothing," Taylor said.
Moseley said he would like to see the board conduct a survey of the sidewalks in the area, prioritize the needs then bring the concerns to the city commission.
Ellis also recommended that a meeting be called with Brenda Keithly, CenterPoint Energy's area representative, concerning the gas line upgrade work under way downtown.
"We were told it would take 30 days," Ellis said. "They started in January. We're now in May and it's still not complete."
Dottie Dillard pointed out that the condition of the sidewalks, especially in the downtown area, ties directly in with the urban planning designs currently being discussed by the city and the Branding Development Committee.
The board also voted to change its regular meeting date to the third Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. June 17.
Members of the committee include Chairman Taylor, Vice Chairman Moseley, Ms. Dillard, Tivet, Jean Birmingham, Anne Yappen, Brian Van Winkle, Marjorie Perkins, Joy Berry, Kathy Davidson, Robb McMahon, Juli Jamison and Louis Kariel. Ex officio members are Geraldine Mauthe, director of convention services, Marshall Convention and Visitor Bureau; and Connie Ware, president and chief executive officer, Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce.
By STEVE BANDY, News Messenger