MainStreet aims to raise money with downtown gala

Liliana Castillo

An event that started as a wine and cheese tasting nine years ago has evolved to include New Mexico wines, beers, an olive bar, salsa bar and chocolate fountain.

The food is part of the attraction at the annual Downtown Gala, which serves as the biggest fundraiser for Clovis MainStreet.

Clovis MainStreet is a nonprofit that works to revitalize economic development and historic preservation in the downtown district.

To do that, the organization uses grant money and money raised to bring the community together to keep the downtown area alive.

Clovis MainStreet Director Robyne Beaubien said the group is striving for a new look for the event this year, calling it “Taste This.” This year’s event also includes a look into local artist Andrew Merritt’s process.

“It’s a good time to come out and help us sustain our organization to continue to get grants and revitalize our downtown area,” Beaubien said. “We’ve seen some really good progress and we want to see it continue.”

Over the last year, the organization has completed detailed concrete work on Seventh and Main streets that Beaubien hopes to expand further down Main Street.

Also, a new sign has been added at Seventh and Main and an LED two-sided full color reader board.

“We want to make people more aware of our organization and what we’re doing as well as community and downtown events,” Beaubien said.

The organization hopes to win grant money for improving a sidewalk on the fifth block of Main Street and will host the second Facade Squad work day Oct. 30.

The organization also helped with funding for remediation of Hotel Clovis.

The Facade Squad will paint and clean properties on Main Street.

Beaubien said downtown owners have reinvested in their own properties over the last year. For example, the rebuilt village was given some of its original look.

“That kind of reinvestment is catalytic to growth,” she said.

Next year, MainStreet will work on moving a railroad engine from Hillcrest Park to downtown and other projects planned for the railroad district, including improving the railroad museum.

MainStreet board president Lisa Dunagan said organizers are expecting about 300 to attend. With tickets at $25 each, a price that hasn’t increased since 2001, the organization hopes to raise between $5,000 and $7,000.

The money raised will be used for operational costs, mostly associated with keeping MainStreet’s office open.

“It’s going to be a night of fun,” she said.

Dunagan said the organization is always looking for volunteers for projects and on the board.

Tickets are available at the Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce, ClovisMain Street office and at the door.