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December 2012
"Talk of the Town"

In This Issue...

+ HCA Manager's Message

+ Time to Renew Your Membership (or JOIN!)

+ Featured Member: Creative Foundations

+ Christmas Parade & Walk Wrap Up

+ News from Our Members

+ Mark Your Calendars - HCA Events

+ NEW! Monthly Networking Meetings

+ News You Can Use

+ Upcoming Events

+ 2013 Heritage Ohio Training Events


HCA Manager's Message: "The Christmas Spirit"


Christmas Spirit

I believe in the spirit of Christmas. All through the year. It’s so much more than giving gifts, sharing meals with family and friends, or singing carols by candlelight. While those things matter and create memories, the spirit of Christmas is so much more.


We sing about “peace on earth” at this time of year, but I would argue that being “bothered” and moved to act is a much more fitting experience. Put aside differences and extend a hand to those with whom you may have disagreed in the past. Give a “cold cup of water” to one who thirsts. Share a piece of yourself with someone who desperately needs encouragement. These things are much harder to do, but yield greater results.


My wish for you this December is that your heart would be bothered or stirred by things you see and hear in this world. Be the Christmas spirit to someone today.


+ Carrie A. Crouch, HCA Downtown Manager| HCA on Facebook


Time to Renew Membership (or JOIN!)


Enjoy Membership! To all of our current HCA members, it’s that time—time to renew your membership and continue to reap the benefits. Our membership costs are remaining the same for 2013, so that means no increase to you!


And don’t forget that, as an HCA member, you are entitled to all the benefits our statewide organization, Heritage Ohio, provides as well, including training workshops on a variety of subjects, webinars, specific assistance with grants and tax incentives and many others.


We’ve made it EASY and AFFORDABLE – Renew or join online today! Did you know? Family and individual memberships are available as well.

REMINDER: If you are a new member who joined mid-year in 2012, your rate will be prorated. Call the HCA office for details: (740) 393-1481.


Featured Member: Creative Foundations


Interview with Creative Foundations staff


Creative FoundationsTell us a bit about how Creative Foundations got started...
Creative Foundations was founded in 2001 to support individuals with developmental disabilities. Founder David Robins has worked with individuals with disabilities his entire working career. After David earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1999, he decided it was time to make his dream of starting an agency reality. We began providing residential services to an individual in Franklin County and from there went to Knox, Delaware, Union, Champaign and Licking Counties. In 2005, Creative Foundations opened its first Adult Day Service program in Knox County. We started in a small building and focused on community involvement and working on life skills that individuals could use outside of our program and in their homes.


What is Creative Foundation's mission?
Our mission is to provide individuals with independence, choice, opportunity, and security. We strive to intensify our commitment to pro-social values such as kindness, helpfulness, personal responsibility, equality and respect for others. These are qualities we believe are essential to leading humane and productive lives in society.


What are some of your daily activities?

Our daily activities include art, photography, cooking, computer skills, exercises, dance class, karate class, bowling, as well as numerous community activities.


What would people be surprised to know about Creative Foundations?
We have a fully equipped photo studio with backdrops painted by our artists. Come get your photo taken!


Any exciting plans for the future you'd like to tell us about?
We just opened our new offices at 135 South Main, just a couple doors down from our center!


Do you have any special holiday events coming up?
Most of our holiday events have already come and passed (Santa’s Workshop, People First Spaghetti Fundraiser, and Christmas Bazaar) but we have lots of holiday decorations and gifts created by our artists for sale. We also plan on caroling along Main Street soon so keep an eye out for us!


How can people get involved? 
We are always looking for volunteers and donations of art supplies.


Why is it important for Creative Foundations to be a Heritage member?
We love being involved in the community in any way we can!


Where can people go to learn more?
Visit our website at www.creativefoundations.org or just come in to visit! You can also Follow us on Facebook.


Christmas Parade & Walk: It's All Wrapped Up!


Mount Vernon High School band in the Christmas Parade

What a wonderful Christmas Parade & Walk for 2012! The crowd was incredible, downtown shops were bustling and local families and visitors alike enjoyed a plethora of activities such as carousel and train rides, shopping, visits with llamas and dogs, roasted chestnuts and kettle corn, live musical entertainment and caroling, and much more.


Thank you to all of our event sponsors who supported this delightful holiday tradition in order that families could come out and enjoy all that our beautiful downtown has to offer. It takes an entire community coming together to put on such a great event. Thank you to everyone who supported the Parade & Walk in any way!


Thank you, also, to all businesses that decorated your windows for the holiday season—you’re helping to create a cheery shopping environment. Congratulations to Waking Dreams Smoke Shop, recipients of first prize in the window decorating contest. Second prize went to Kristin’s Koutour Kollection; third prize went to Williams Flower Shop; and Honorable Mention went to Deja Vu.


PHOTOS: All photos of the Christmas parade, walk, lights on the Square, and window competition can be seen on HCA's Facebook page.


Member News


If you have news to submit for the newsletter, please send it to Carrie Crouch no later than the first of each month. Newsletters are distributed around the 15th of each month.


Paragraphs Bookstore

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to long-time Paragraphs owner Anne Storan. Her last day in the store will be Dec. 31; she will be moving to Florida in January. We will have a familiar face in Lois Hanson, however, who will be taking over. Join us in saying farewell on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 5-7 p.m. at a going-away party! Thank you, Anne, for all you have done for Mount Vernon and Knox County readers!


Think Brand Studio

Did you know that Justin Bryant of Think Brand Studio is now offering four different levels of plans to help businesses develop and grow their small business brands? Projects range from two weeks to an intensive 10-week project depending on the level of your need. Contact him today to learn more.


Country Club Retirement Center

Everyone is invited to enjoy an Enchanted Holiday Evening at Country Club Retirement Center at 1350 Yauger Road on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5-7 p.m. The evening will feature holiday games and activities, hot cocoa, Santa and his helpers, and more! Free admission.


Model train displayB & O Depot

The B & O Depot, located at 507 West High Street, has a beautiful model train display which is open to the public each Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. through Dec. 23. Free admission.


Science Play-Space Initiative (SPI), 14 South Main Street

Coming up Monday, Dec. 17: Preschoolers - Microscopes with Joan Slonzewski, Kenyon biology professor and scifi author, and Keith Martinez, research director and MVNU alumnus. This will be an individual rather than group activity - preschoolers will be able to look at every day objects they select from our space (or bring with them) under low magnification and get to see that the world is a bit different close up.

+ After School - The science of sound

+ Thursday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. - Toddlers and music

+ Winter Playbreak open Thursday, Dec 27, Friday Dec 28.

+ Closed: Monday, Dec. 24, Monday, Dec. 31.

Learn more...


Mark Your Calendars


HCA Events

Annual Membership Meeting
Thursday, Jan. 31, Upstairs at The Alcove

5:30 social hour, 6:30 meeting
HCA members are are invited to the Annual Membership Meeting. View the 2012 Annual Report, hear important HCA updates, vote on new board members and renew relationships with other member businesses.


2012 Annual Awards Dinner

Thursday, March 7, Upstairs at The Alcove

5:30 social hour, 6:30 welcome/dinner, 7:30 awards

Join HCA in a celebration of the businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to the success of downtown Mount Vernon and the Heritage Centre Association during 2012. More details will follow in an official invitation. Members: Don't forget to send in your award nominations. Click to download the Nomination Form.


NEW! Monthly Networking Meetings


Networking EventSeveral HCA members and business owners came together on Friday, Dec. 7,at Paragraphs Bookstore for our first monthly networking meeting. It was a great time to hear from our host business as well as to learn "best practices" from one another, share areas of success, learn more about what's happening in downtown Mount Vernon, and share your winter First Friday activities. This is NOT just for downtown merchants. All HCA members are invited! It's free for members and first-timers. A small business membership is less than $7 a month.


Items discussed at this meeting ranged from winter sidewalk cleaning, downtown beautification, online retailing, social media, maintaining competitive pricing, and more. Anne Storan of Paragraphs said, "This was time well-spent, even in this very busy time of year. I appreciated the positive tone and spirit of cooperation among all the attendees. Improving social networking opportunities and skills is an area in which we'd all benefit."


January Networking Meeting
Friday, January 18, 8-9 a.m.

Coleman Family Gallery (218 South Main Street)


News You Can Use


Food For The HungryFood For The Hungry Brings Our Community Together

A big thank you goes to all businesses and individuals involved in the annual Food For The Hungry Drive in any way. Community spirit abounds in December 2012 as Knox County came together to raise $181,200 and 64 trucks of food to benefit The Salvation Army and Interchurch Social Services. This monumental effort will serve hundreds of Knox County families throughout the upcoming year. Click to read the Mount Vernon News story...


New State Fund Established to Boost Employment, Utilized Vacant Property

The state has a new tool in its attempt to boost employment: An incentive plan that gives businesses $500 for each job they create in vacant or underused commercial buildings and business parks. The Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund has been allocated $2 million as part of an effort that state officials say could create up to 4,000 jobs. The Ohio Development Services Agency has already begun accepting requests under the program. Read more...


"Retail is Detail" May Come to Mount Vernon

Heritage Ohio is working hard to advocate for a grant to bring the "Retail is Detail" program to several rural Ohio communities. Mount Vernon is slated to participate. Several business consultants come in and thoroughly examine every aspect of three businesses in each community. They provide a full report that includes real, doable recommendations for improving the business. Watch for updates on this project soon!


Join the Fight to Save the Federal Historic Tax Credit

With the “fiscal cliff” conversations heating up on Capitol Hill, now is an important time to let our lawmakers know that the historic tax credit is not on the table for restriction or elimination. Our historic tax credit is too important a tool for creating jobs, revitalizing Main Streets, and protecting our heritage. Click here for sample letters to send to your Members of Congress.


Take a Look at 2013 Business Trends

What can you expect to see in business trends for the upcoming year? Everything from hot sauce to disappearing office space to Read more...

Upcoming Community Events


December January Calendar

Visit Santa on the Square from 11-2 p.m. every Saturday between now and Christmas, as well as Christmas Eve!


12/14 – Night at the Museum, Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, open late with live music, snacks, and other activities, 7-11 p.m.
12/14 – Live music at Vino Where You Live, featuring Bejae Fleming and Jackie Blount, $5 cover, 7-9 p.m.
12/15 – Live music at Vino Where You Live, featuring Eagle Grove, $5 cover, 7-9 p.m.
12/16 – Christmas Bird Count, Brown Environmental Center, for more info contact Heather at 427-5052
12/22 – Live music at Vino Where You Live, featuring Desmond Wall, $5 cover, 7-9 p.m.
12/25 – CHRISTMAS!
12/31 – Live music at Vino Where You Live, featuring Desperation String Band, $20 cover, includes free appetizers and champaign toast, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

1/4 - January "Winter" First Friday - let HCA know what your business has planned so we can help promote it!
1/11 – Knox County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony, Pierce Hall at Kenyon College, 5:45 p.m.


To see more events, visit the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau calendar or the Knox Chamber of Commerce calendar.


2013 Heritage Ohio Events


Heritage Ohio TrainingsThe following events are FREE for all Heritage Centre Association members and run from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. HCA staff attends each of these events so carpooling may be an option.


March 12 - Diversity in Your Downtown – Painesville

June 26 - Art as Economic Development – Troy

September 11 - Fostering Good Design in Public Places – Norwalk

November 6 - Marketing Your Main Street – Millersburg


Watch for more information about these events at www.heritageohio.org.