Main Street Vermilion Presents 2019 Annual Report

At the Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, August 3, 2020, Marilou Suszko, Executive Director of Main Street Vermilion, presented the 2019 Annual Report and pointed out they are a big volunteer organization and their volunteers contribute over 7,000 hours of volunteer service to the programs that benefit Vermilion. Their support comes from their events and donations, as well as direct community support. They bring in at least 10,000 people in their events every year throughout the year. They are host to five different programs under the Main Street umbrella.

Suszko said Public Art Vermilion was added in 2019, which attributes to the Post Cards going up around town. The Vermilion Arts Guild helps promote arts in the community, they host art shows that are open to the public, they collaborate with the library on doing this, and they host events in town. The Lighthouse Preservation this year wrote for over $15,000 in grants in support and kept the lighthouse looking like it does and in good condition. Prior to that, there was a fundraiser for $40,000 to add the Fresnel lens that made the lighthouse a coastguard approved national aid.

Suszko spoke highly of Vermilion in Bloom, and said if you take all the flowers out of town it would be sad. She said Vermilion in Bloom is responsible for adding so much to the community such as the flowers and trees planted on both sides of town, the hanging baskets, Christmas lights, and historic light poles.

Suszko said typically when people come to Vermilion, the first place they stop at is the Shore Thing. These are the ambassadors to the community; not only do they warmly welcome people and make them feel at home, but they help guide them where they need to go as far as restaurants and shopping establishments.

Suszko said Main Street’s relationship with the city is one she hopes continues, as they really appreciate the support from the city in so many ways to help them move some of these projects forward. The city lends a hand in collaborating with Main Street to make all these things happen. Main Street Vermilion is about Downtown Revitalization and they think they are seeing a lot of good things happening downtown. It's also about tourism as they have invested a lot of money in getting people to come to town, and it's also about volunteerism and making their town look and feel like a place that people can be proud of. 

Suszko said she watches what the businesses are doing and what the people on the street are doing, and she looks at the restaurants and retailers, and the places that have to welcome these visitors, and they are really doing a great job; whether they agree with all the mandates or not as they are following them. They are wearing masks and providing comfortable and safe experiences for the customers. She said she would hear the complaints, but she is not hearing any negatives, so this makes her feel good about what people are doing and the effort they are making.