Revitalization Efforts Shine at Townie Awards: Chambersburg Wins Big

Left to Right- Sam Thrush, Emily Schuit, Alice Elia, and Jenna Kaczmarek

Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) presented twenty awards during the organization’s annual statewide Townie Awards gala. The Townie Awards are a festive and venerable tradition designed to recognize the commonwealth’s core communities and individuals for creation and implementation of projects, programs and events that exemplify the goals of PDC’s community revitalization mission. Eligible communities consist of Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s nearly 200 member organizations, including Main Street and Elm Street programs, making the Townies a competitive award process each year.

Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s executive director, Julie Fitzpatrick, said “The Townies are an opportunity for us to showcase our member communities and celebrate their incredible work in our commonwealth’s business districts and neighborhoods. Our Main Street and Elm Street community leaders work tirelessly to make our Pennsylvania communities places where we are proud to call home, start a business, build a family, or retire. We’re thrilled to honor 20 incredible award winners.”

The Townie Awards are a part of PDC’s annual statewide conference, which is held in a different commonwealth community each year in order to highlight the respective city or town’s accomplishments in community and neighborhood revitalization. This year’s conference, The Crossroads of Community & Collaboration: Building Dynamic and Innovative Partnerships, held in downtown York, was attended by close to 300 individuals and included borough and municipal officials, experts in community planning and landscape architecture, and dozens of Main Street and Elm Street managers. Attendees enjoyed a variety of classroom and mobile sessions, an evening exploring the Royal Square District, a ball game at the York Revolution WellSpan Park and keynote presentations from Shaylyn Romney Garret, author of “the Upswing”, Anna Zivarts, author of “When Driving is Not an Option” and Jess King, ED of The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement.

“Downtown Chambersburg is honored to receive two Townie awards at this year’s event! These awards highlight the hard work by many at IceFest PA, an effort to highlight art, shake off the winter blues and drive dollars to our downtown during the winter season and our Façade Grant Program. Our success being noted at the state level is a great accomplishment,” said Sam Thrush, President of Downtown Chambersburg Inc.

Mr. Thrush continues, “IceFest PA is an event where three organizations join to host and organize the largest (in ice tonnage) multi-day ice festival in Pennsylvania. The event is coordinated by Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg, Council for the Arts Chambersburg and Downtown Chambersburg Inc.”

Founded in 1987, the mission of Pennsylvania Downtown Center is to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of Pennsylvania’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas. For information about the Townie Awards and this year’s recipients, contact Virginia Mauk at (240) 338-2862.

The 20 Townie Award Winners for 2024:

Downtown Chambersburg Inc.
Physical Improvements & Design: Program-Wide Facade Restoration
Chambersburg’s Facade Improvement Program

Diamond City Partnership & City of Wilkes-Barre
Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements
Public Square Performance Area

Shamokin Partnership for Revitalization
Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements
Plan GoShamokin

Mt. Lebanon Partnership | Mt. Lebanon Municipality
Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements
Vibrant Uptown Public Space Improvement

Downtown Inc. | York County Economic Alliance
Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements
York City Heritage Rail Trail Crosswalks

SouthSide Arts District | Bethlehem
Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements
Hope In Flight Mosaic Stair Mural

Spanish American Civic Association
Safe, Clean & Green: Community Greening
A Butterfly’s Path

The Ardmore Initiative
Promotions & Marketing: General Image & Identity
Windows Into History

Downtown Carlisle Association
Promotions & Marketing: Retail Promotions
Downtown PEEP SHOW

NeighborWorks Northeastern PA
Promotions & Marketing: Retail Promotions
West Side Wonderland

Build a Better Boyertown
Promotions & Marketing: Retail Promotions
Bearianne Gets Her Holiday Shopping Done!

Build a Better Boyertown
Promotions & Marketing: Special or Neighborhood Events
Pokémon Go! Tournament

Downtown Chambersburg Inc. | Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg | Council for the Arts of Chambersburg
Promotions & Marketing: Special or Neighborhood Events
Chambersburg’s Annual 4 Day IceFest!

MainSpring of Ephrata
Organizational Excellence: Community Partnerships
Ephrata’s Unleashed Dog Park

Burkentine Real Estate Group
Asset Enhancement
Franklin Square Project, New Freedom

Alecraft Brewery
Anchor Building
Alecraft Brewery Project, Railroad

Waterfront Management Group, LLC
Anchor Building
Waterfront Warehouse, Pittston

Liz Winand
Volunteer of the Year
York Heritage Rail Trails

Paul Stevenson
Chairmans’ Award for Youth Involvement
Downtown Pittston Partnership

Mayor Mike Lombardo
Teri Foster Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Revitalization

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