By Monica Sager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two area downtown regions have been recognized in two separate awards programs: the Townie Awards and the Classic Towns People’s Choice Contest.
The Pennsylvania Downtown Center presented 12 awards at its annual statewide Townie Awards gala June 5. Building a Better Boyertown was the only organization to win two recognitions.
In the Organizational Excellence category, Building a Better Boyertown was recognized for Organization Development — for its Vision and Action Plan; as well as the Chairman’s Award for Youth Involvement — for its Town Vision Video.
The Townie Awards recognize Pennsylvania’s core communities and individuals for creation and implementation of projects, programs and events that exemplify the goals of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s community revitalization mission, according to a press release. Eligible communities include Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s nearly 200 member organizations, including Main Street and Elm Street programs.
“It’s really nice to be recognized,” said Adrienne Blank, executive director of Building a Better Boyertown. “The community put in a lot of time figuring out what Boyertown will be in the next five years … I’m honored to be part of this.”
Blank added that the honors show how much Boyertown “is really doing to improve its economy.”
“Each year we look forward to the Townie Awards presentation for its ability to excite and inspire our members to continue their community revitalization efforts,” Bill Fontana, Pennsylvania Downtown Center executive director said in the release. “Our member communities work tirelessly to improve their cities and towns, and we love having the opportunity to applaud them for their efforts.”
The awards came on the heels of Blank speaking earlier this month on the threat of the proposed expansion of Rolling Hills Landfill. She said the suggested expansion plan would threaten the organization’s current efforts to drive downtown revitalization.
A study, conducted by ClimeCo and paid for by Building a Better Boyertown, suggested that the projected truck traffic would cause vibrations that could damage the historic infrastructure.
Building a Better Boyertown also received $1 million in grants from BB&T last December, to support the downtown revitalization and the restoration of the rail yard. Boyertown Vision and Action Plan is allocating the funds.
In the first-ever Classic Towns People’s Choice Contest, Phoenixville “swept the votes with winners across the board,” for its downtown businesses, according to a press release.
The two-part contest concluded in May, and highlighted the best businesses and activities in each of 20 Classic Towns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In round one of the contest, community members voted for their favorite local businesses in 14 categories. In round two, the category winners from each town vied for the top award.
While this was the first year for the People’s Choice Contest, Phoenixville has won similar awards in the past, according to Jessica Capistrant, president of the Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce.
“It was wonderful to see Phoenixville really rise to the top of the list,” Capistrant said, adding that it was great that the locals supported Phoenixville restaurants.
The 14 winning Phoenixville businesses in the Classic Towns Contest are:
Best Pizza: Vecchia Pizzeria
Best Bar/Brewery: Root Down Brewing Company
Best Ice Cream: Brown’s Cow
Best Bakery: Soltane Cafe
Best Diner: Your Mom’s Place
Best Coffee Shop: Steel City Coffeehouse
Best Salon: Charlotte Thomas Salon
Best Workout/Gym: Ocean Earth Wind Fire Yoga
Best Family Activity: First Friday
Best Art Gallery/Workshop: Diving Cat Studio Gallery
Best Clothing Shop: Lulu Boutique and Gifterie
Best Theatre: The Colonial Theatre
Best Park: Reeves Park
Best Romantic Date Spot: Black Lab Bistro
Among the area towns Phoenixville competed against were: Kennett Square, Lansdale, Lansdowne, Malvern, Manayunk, Media, Oxford, Roxborough and Souderton-Telford.
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