Frankenbach named Genoa's 'Spark Plug'

GENOA – Volunteers and donors celebrated another successful year for Genoa Main Street Inc. at its annual appreciation dinner. The nonprofit organization is responsible for many of downtown Genoa’s improvements and events.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to thank all these people who supported us through their donation of time or dollars,” said Gordon Jones, Main Street president.  “Since we are donation funded and have only one half-time paid staff person, we couldn’t do anything without their support.  While most of our donors and volunteers are private individuals and downtown businesses, we are very grateful to several larger donors including Custom Aluminum Products, KishHealth Physicians Group, KishHealth Unlimited Performance Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Genoa-Kingston United Way, Genoa Township, Resource Bank, National Bank & Trust, Waste Management, Genoa Lions Club, S & A Maintenance and Windy City Seals for their financial support. We also are grateful to the City of Genoa and Heartland Bank for their in-kind support.”

The annual dinner recognizes volunteers who have worked at least 10 hours over the past year and donors of $50 or more. The popular event was held at Joe’s Pizza & Pub on Main Street.

“We always have the dinner somewhere in downtown Genoa,” event chair Dolores Gallagher said. “All the possible downtown locations are relatively small, so all seats go quickly.”

Among Main Street’s accomplishments this year were the opening of the second Genoa Springboard small business incubator with three tenants – Beacon Counseling, North Pines Heating and Cooling and J’Studio Fitness; the continued growth of the monthly Open Air Markets, which are now the largest in the area; a full calendar of community events; new sidewalk planters; the painting of several buildings and receipt of a 13th Illinois Main Street achievement award.

A highlight of the evening each year is the announcement of the winner of the Spark Plug Award.

“Each year the volunteer who has inspired others and made things happen is honored,” Jones said. “This year’s award winner is Sherry Frankenbach. Sherry has been involved in nearly every project and event all year. She volunteers to help before we even ask and has brought new volunteers with her. We really appreciate her contribution to the organization.”

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