Thomas Steinwinder with MMSA Executive Director Thomas Gregory
Outstanding Community Engagement Effort – This award recognizes an effort by a local Main Street program that brings a diverse cross-sector of the community together for a common purpose.
Winner: Laurel Main Street – Laurel Leap Day Tournament
“One of our most closely held beliefs is that good events can bridge gaps between cultures, demographics, and individuals. In an area where high school sports still fill bleachers in gyms and stadiums, a street ball tournament had all the markings of community engagement. Laurel Leap Day (a pun on both basketball and the leap year) took place the last Saturday in February, and it was a resounding success. The main event was an elimination-style tournament. 3-on-3 streetball sparked all the competition and fun Laurel Main Street could have hoped for, with crowds cheering for their favorite teams and players.
20 teams banded together to compete for the $500 top prize and, of course, bragging rights. For those who lost the tournament, a slam dunk competition and a three-point shoot-off gave chances for redemption. Attendees milled about shopping at downtown businesses and munching on the street fair food. With entry fees and sponsorships, the event was both free to the public and a fantastic fundraiser.”