All right, I admit it. I’m a fan of old movies, especially musicals. As 2008 draws to a close and I reflect back on the great things that happened this year in Sumner, Julie Andrews and “The Sound of Music” come to mind. So I thought I’d make a list of “my” 2008 favorite things to share.
You’ve heard me speak about the citywide branding campaign as well as the historic preservation ordinance that our City Council approved in November. And all year long I talked about our fun events, parades and festivals that happened downtown. We’ve won gold, silver and bronze awards for our events, graphics, promotional materials and Web site. Then there’s the governor’s smart communities award for our outstanding city partnerships with a vision for sustainability and strategic growth.
That’s a pretty impressive list and definitely something I am proud to promote outside our community. But there’s more.
In spite of all the grim predictions you hear or read in the news about the economy, Sumner is fortunate to have several noteworthy business construction projects worth mentioning. We now have a new hotel with another slated to begin construction in January. The Sumner Holiday Inn Express opened this fall and a Candlewood extended stay hotel will be open for business in 2009. But overnight stay accommodations are not the only new business in town. Heritage Bank will be opening its new branch in January. You can’t miss the building at the corner of Main and Wood if you’re driving east or west on Main Street. And many have been watching the remodel of the Sumner Tractor site at the bottom of the 410 highway making way for a new Honda dealership, and the anticipated move of John Deere Tractor to the former Riverside Ford site on Traffic Avenue. Plus, we have a new vintage jewelry store downtown, as well as a new interior design store, a new dollar store and flower shop.
But wait…there’s still more.
I feel compelled to mention the volunteers that make our community so warm and inviting and worthy of our branding tag line, “Come on in.” And the beauty of a great volunteer force in your community is that it draws others to get involved because they see it can be a fun and meaningful way to meet new people. The year has seen a growth of our volunteers by 25 percent. Now that’s a lot of new people getting involved! Even our membership is growing. From our award-winning float volunteers, to event groupies, to our wonderful business sponsors, Sumner Downtown Association relies on our strategic partnerships and the community as a whole for its success.
I hope you enjoyed reading my favorite things list, and better yet, I hope you already knew about most of the things I listed. 2008 really was an outstanding year as I look back. So to our great volunteers, business members and sponsors, our city staff, mayor and council members, thanks for the memories and a new version of Ms. Andrew’s song running through my mind. I am truly looking forward to the new things that will happen in 2009.