Living Democracy

Elba comedy night raises money for Main Street

Sign for the eventThe Elba Chamber of Commerce put on a Star-Studded Comedy Night to help raise funds for Main Street Elba Thursday, May 25.

The Comedy Night, held at the National Security Conference Center, started with dinner followed by a comedy show.  

Ben E. Keith Foods acquired Kelley Foods this past September and showed their support for their new community in a big way by donating all of the food, including roast and a strawberry dessert, served at the event.  Other Elba-based businesses, including Pope Tent Rentals, Food Giant and Williams Signs, also provided items for the event.

The Star-Studded Comedy Night was a fun-packed show bringing laughs from everyone in attendance.  There were special appearances from locals posing as Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, and Johnny Cash to name a few.

Sandy Bynum, executive director of the Elba Chamber of Commerce, said

“I was very pleased about the event. We had about 165 people in attendance, not including servers and other volunteers.”

 The event raised well over $3,300 from ticket sales and other donations.

The eventWith the Comedy Night being such a success, the Main Street Elba committee is hopeful that donations will continue to come in to better the town they live in.

 “We all have big dreams for this town.  We can’t achieve if we don’t dream,” Bynum, in her third year as Chamber director, said.

Bynum said she was excited to have the Comedy Night to further the town’s efforts in becoming the best town it can be.  “We all want Elba to be better,” she says.

Bynum explained how the Star-Studded Comedy Night acted as a push toward the next project through Main Street Elba.

Main Street Elba falls under Main Street Alabama.  Their purpose is to enhance downtowns across Alabama. The organization “builds on the authentic history, culture, and attributes of specific places, to bring sustainable change,” according to their website.

With Elba’s rich history and uniqueness, Bynum was confidant Elba could be adopted by Main Street Alabama. The town applied for the program and was accepted three years ago.

Sandy ByrumAt the time, Elba was the smallest city in Alabama to ever be adopted by Main Street Alabama, Bynum said.

Since then, the Main Street Elba committee has taken advice from Main Street Alabama on how to jumpstart transforming the town.

“We had representatives from Main Street Alabama come to Elba and take a look around.  They told us what to start improving and how to do it,” Bynum explained.

The first project under Main Street Elba was upgrading the trashcans on the Square in Elba. “It’s the little things that can sometimes make or break the look of a town. So, trashcans are what we brought in first,” Bynum said.

Other projects under Main Street Elba have included pressure washing sidewalks and installing curbs. Laying brick walkways, hanging swings, constructing a pergola, and installing fresh sod beautified an empty lot across from the courthouse, adding to the charm of downtown Elba.

The next step that Main Street Alabama advised Elba to do was to put in more signage.  That is where the Star-Studded Comedy Night came in.

“They recommended to us to place two updated welcome signs at the entrance of the city on Highway 84 from Enterprise and Opp.  We also planned to update way-finding signs, like showing directions to Tiger Town Park and the public library,” Bynum says.

Elba signIt is estimated the new brick and marble welcome signs will cost $10,000 each and additional funds will be needed for the way-finding signs.

The Main Street Elba committee is looking to bring more tourists in to enjoy opportunities available in Elba. The committee is also looking forward to hosting future fundraising events to help in aiding Elba’s revitalization.

Bynum said she is excited to see the future unfold for Elba and what can be done to enhance its Southern charm.

“This town has a renewed spirit.  The citizens of Elba are strong.  They know how to care about each other.  We all want Elba to be better, and the support at the Star Studded Comedy Night showed that,” Bynum says.

For more information on Elba’s Main Street enhancements to donate to their efforts, please contact Elba Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Bynum at 334-897-3125 or elbachamber@troycable.net

 

Last Updated: May 31, 2017