Hometown Strasburg to disband

STRASBURG — Hometown Strasburg is disbanding, its president announced at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

Hometown Strasburg is a local organization affiliated with the Virginia Main Street Program dedicated to revitalization of the downtown business district. The organization will be formerly disbanded March 19.

Started in 2005 at the behest of former Mayor Tim Chrisman, the organization focused on promoting the town’s local businesses through beatification programs and writing grant applications for the Downtown Streetscape Project.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Kate Sowers, Hometown Strasburg president, cited the town’s increased role in downtown revitalization as the reason for disbanding.

“We feel that the vision we had starting this organization has come to reality in many events and projects that we have done throughout these many years, and are so glad to see that the town has taken over in seeing the projects it is now undertaking will continue in the future,” Sowers said.

Sowers thanked the council, town staff, business owners, organizations and volunteers for supporting the organization through the years.

Mayor Tim Taylor said the organization was an asset for the town.

“On behalf of this council, staff and this entire community, we cannot thank you enough for what you all have done,” Taylor said. “The amount of hours you all spent serving the community is just unbelievable.”

In a phone interview Wednesday, Sowers said Hometown Strasburg was disbanding on “a high note.”

“We’ve accomplished a lot of things we set out to do when we first started and I’m extremely pleased with how the town has taken over and continuing that,” Sowers said. “They have taken our vision and continued it.”

Sowers added, “I anticipate the town will look entirely different in the next 10 years, for the better.”

However, the organization’s shuttering is still bittersweet, Sowers said.

“We’re going to miss working with everyone and each other,” Sowers said.

Sowers said one of the main motivations for Hometown Strasburg’s creation was to represent business owners in the community.

“In order to have a voice in the town, you have to be a resident to vote, but because a lot of the business owners don’t live in town, we tried to represent them and give them a voice by offering programs, marketing, and working with partnerships to help them,” Sowers said.

Sowers, who is a lifelong Strasburg resident, said working in Hometown Strasburg gave her a sense of pride by serving her community.

“For me personally, I just had a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to be a part of an organization that gave back to the community, Sowers said.

Hometown Strasburg was a volunteer-run organization and it was the volunteers who made it successful, Sowers said.

“Anytime we’d ever need help, whether it was marketing or an event or setting up seminars or sponsorships, everyone was very quick to jump on board and say ‘yes,'” Sowers said. “There was so many people out there you could ask for help and they were there, no questions asked.”

Sowers said the biggest accomplishment for the organization was getting the ball rolling on the Streetscape projects.

The board will meet before the disbanding to discuss the where to disperse remaining funds into the community. Hometown Dollars gift cards will need to be redeemed by Friday, as well as orders for the Streetscape brick sale.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com