• By Kirk Gaw

Main Street Of Walkerton Group Polishing The Identity Of Walkerton

Promoting, designing, and stimulating economic vitality for downtown Walkerton is a mission for the local volunteers committed to the new "Main Street Of Walkerton" group. These visionaries started last January and are inspired by the Indiana Main Street Program funded by OCRA (Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs). Jennifer Vandenburg met with the Walkerton community to field questions and provide a discussion to see that Walkerton becomes a "Main Street" town should they pursue it. She gave the website address: so people could look up more information about how other communities have improved by being "Main Street" towns, as well as information about the organization.

Main Street Of Walkerton members enjoying their float at the 2018 Falloween Parade on Adams St.

At the second meeting in February, Jennifer Vandenburg returned to give details about the process to become a Main Street town. She helped the attendees form the Organization Committee, and talked about helping existing businesses expand and recruiting new ones. She also showed how to convert unused space into productive properties. The Town Board, Gary Trost, Phil Buckmaster, and Kathy Rohrer-Frazier are the driving force behind the new Main Street Walkerton Group.

They succeeded in getting the organization going and are responsible for the Illinois - Roosevelt Parking lot improvement project, the Cruise-In events, and Adopt-A-Scarecrow. The Main Street Of Walkerton Group wants to inspire residents and business people in the community to take part in the image of the town. They want to encourage property owners to paint, and restore facades, and will find funding for those who need it. You can feel the new spirit in the air! A sense of pride is growing on Roosevelt Rd.!

The new group Board of Directors are as follows: Kathy Rohrer-Frazier -- Co-President, Gary Trost -- Co-President, Perry Richards -- Vice-President, Ashlee Egger -- Secretary, and Penni Fansler -- Treasurer. They have a design committee with Chair: Carol Trost, and Dodie Beyler.

Promotion Committee Chair are: Don Buford, and Shirley Hamilton. Economic Vitality Chair is held by: Kathy Rohrer-Frazier, and Traci Stewart.

These volunteers want you to be involved! Helping all of the town groups, clubs, schools, organizations and businesses collaborate and work together for the improvement of the town. They want to help in fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and sponsorships.

They want to design what we have to look "nice and friendly, while preserving our historical heritage and façades." They want to schedule future town clean up events and to have possible murals painted on some of the dullest walls? The Main Street group wants to be involved in decorating storefront windows and wants to make a historical story walk-through-town experience!

Front Row L-R: Ashlee Egger, Shirley Hamilton, Dodie Beyler, Carol Trost, Perry Richards Back Row L-R: Penni Fansler, Kathy Frazier, Traci Stewart, Gary Trost, Don Burford

They are going to work on helping to strengthen current businesses. Main Street will create opportunities for new commercial businesses, meeting today’s market, as they overcome challenges. Finding ways to capitalize on the traffic through town, coming to and from the High School, and Park Department events, Potato Creek State Park, Koontz Lake summer crowd, and the new casino in South Bend. Walkerton is a destination! The community is beginning to realize all of its strengths! Unifying residents and businesses will make Walkerton shine! Check out their new web page and watch video at:

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