First Thursday members program begins

Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS) has started offering yearly memberships that provide special promotions and admittance to special events on First Thursdays to raise funds for the organization.

Mary Hannon, president of the CSMS board, told the Gazette that the proceeds will fund storefront improvements in the shopping district as well as promoting stores and paying First Thursday performers. First Thursdays are monthly art viewing and shopping events, organized by CSMS to boost business along the corridor.

“We’re eventually hoping to raise $25,000 a year” for those purposes, she said.

At this month’s First Thursday event, new members were able to buy a $25 membership button that entered them into a raffle as well as providing free admittance to a book reading and food tasting.

“Every First Thursday, there will be something for members,” Hannon said. She plans to have a table outlining membership benefits and selling membership buttons, following this month’s example, at every First Thursday. Some events may be free for members and some may be members-only.

The price may rise next January, Hannon said, as the benefits provided by a membership are worth more than $25.

While currently operating without a permanent executive director, CSMS is not slowing down, Hannon said.

“We’ve just rebuilt our board and now we’re starting with a new committee. This was our first brainstorming idea” to be implemented, she said.

CSMS has its website at

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