Jacksonville group pushes for prize, recognition

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WAND) – A Jacksonville not-for-profit has entered a contest for a national prize.

Jacksonville Main Street, a group focused on building up the city’s downtown area with events and revitalization efforts, is taking part in a challenge to see which Main Street organization is most deserving of cash winnings. Organizer Independent We Stand says the best Main Street group will win $25,000.

The contest is called "America's Main Streets". 

Local financial support has helped Jacksonville Main Street plant trees, create murals, improve buildings, provide low-interest loan programs for building improvements, and put on a number of community events. It first started in 1999.

Jacksonville Main Street leaders claim the group has helped more than two dozen businesses grow in Jacksonville and caused vacancy rates to fall from 27 percent to 5 percent.

The contest started with nominations and quarterfinal voting on Feb. 26. That period extends until March 22. Semifinalist voting is happening from April 30 to May 27, and the winner will be announced on June 4.

People can vote at this website.