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Updated: Apr 16

Madison Main Street Announces 2024 Award Winners

2024 Award Recipients, Photo Credit to Laura Jayne Gardner Photography

On Tuesday, April 9th, a lively crowd gathered and celebrated the downtown business district at the Historic Eagle Cotton Mill- Fairfield by Marriott. The ninth Annual Gala & Dessert Auction hosted by Madison Main Street Program (MMSP) featured an awards ceremony, followed by the popular auction of 19 desserts created by Madison residents and business owners, which is a fundraiser for the non-profit organization.

Jeff Brautigam, MMSP Board President, welcomed this vibrant crowd and acknowledged the volunteers and supporters gathered for this event. Mayor Bob Courtney addressed the crowd and spoke about the growth of Main Street and Madison. Executive Director of the Madison Main Street Program, Austin Sims, spoke of successes over the past year and of the supportive, strong, and authentic business community we have.

Some successes include 15 new businesses opening in 2023 in downtown Madison, 5 newly purchased businesses, 5 business expansions/relocations in downtown Madison, 2 successful workshops for small businesses in partnership with German American Bank, restaurant roundtable hosted in partnership with the City of Madison, and announced that Madison is a 2024 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalist and maintaining our status as a Nationally Accredited Main Street organization with National Main Street Center and Indiana Main Street.

Each year, four awards are presented:

The Innovation Award goes to a business that has opened, expanded, or added new products or services during the past two years to meet market needs. this year’s award recipient was Koko Heath with Scarlet Begonia. The unique shop partners with and promotes other Main Street businesses, helps spearhead unusual retail promotions like the Sanderson Sisters event, and is woman-owned, veteran-owned, disability-owned, and supports the LGBTQ+ community. The boutique is inclusive and celebrates all people.

The Business Excellence Award is presented to a business that exemplifies excellent business practices. This year’s award recipient was Sonia & Larry Folkner with Fountain Alley BodyCare. Fountain Alley BodyCare, which made its first batch of soap in 2003, received Indiana’s Main Street Business of the Year in 2011 and Madison Main Street’s Business Excellence Award in 2024. Fountain Alley is open seven days a week, selling in-store and online, partnering with other businesses and Airbnb’s, plus manufacturing great products for residents and visitors, and constantly adding new product lines.

The Judy George Tribute Award is presented to an individual or individuals who have gone “above and beyond” their regular job in service to Madison’s Main Street district. The recipient this year is Larry Newhouse. Larry Newhouse was president of the Madison Main Street board of directors from 2012 to 2014. During his term, Larry signed a letter to the bank personally guaranteeing any debts that might be incurred by the Madison Main Street program, given that the organization’s bank balance hovered around $200. Larry and his wife Pam volunteer for every event and we are forever grateful for their efforts.

The Legacy Award is presented to a business that has been in Downtown Madison for at least 25 years. This year’s Legacy Award was presented to Jennifer Bates and Colonial Flowers. Colonial Flowers, downtown’s only full-service flower shop, has served the needs of the community since the mid-1960s. Whether it is creating arrangements for celebratory events like weddings or baby showers or working through difficult times with families during sickness and death, Jennifer Bates and the staff at Colonial Flowers have always been able to balance artistic talent with complete professionalism.

Madison’s historic downtown district is economically vibrant, with shops, restaurants, and nightlife serving residents and, tourists, and visitors. With several events organized annually, we ensure the investment in our non-profit mission is measurable and promotes all things local.

Our volunteers get things done! MMSP is made up of a volunteer-based board and committee leadership. Paid staff follows through with the initiatives and day-to-day organization that is strategically planned by the volunteer base. Madison was one of the first three original Main Street pilot communities in the United States in 1977. Madison Main Street is designated by Indiana Main Street as a nationally accredited community in the Main Street America Program. The local organization spearheads many projects that assist businesses and bring people downtown, including Music in the Park, Girls’ Weekend, the Main Street Loft Tour, and many more.

Photo Credits to Laura Jayne Gardner Photography

Thank You, Vendors!

  • Auction Services Provided by Jim Pruett

  • Musical Entertainment The Rob Houze Band

  • Sound Quality  Services Provided by Dennis O’Neal

  • Ticketing Services Provided by MadTix

  • Chocolates Provided by Cocoa Safari Chocolates

  • Balloon Decorations created by Miah Cain

  • Table Decor provided by Richwood on the River

Thank You, Sponsors!

  • Arvin Sango Foundation

  • The Friendship State Bank

  • Steinhardt Enterprises, Inc.

Thank You, Event Volunteers & Staff!

  • Karen Skillman

  • Dan Baughman

  • Margo Olson

  • Nicole Schell

  • Alex Helton

  • Lindsay Holley

  • Brittany Demaree

  • Matt Chandler

  • Valecia Crisafulli

  • Ed Ray

  • Sandy Palmer

  • Tyler Mingione

  • Cara Fox

  • Hilary Beall

Thank You, Donors!

Thank you to the 19 cake and dessert artists who donated their time and talents to support the auction following the awards. Thank you also to the 19 individuals and businesses who purchased desserts and supported Madison Main Street Program.

Photo Credits to Laura Jayne Gardner Photography

Madison Main Street Program

Austin Sims | Executive Director


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