In serving the community as Executive Director of Main Street Portsmouth, I’ve made many friendships and partnerships with community leaders, movers and shakers, and dedicated volunteers. One of those being with Mr. Kevin W. Johnson.
Main Street has a major partnership with Mr. Johnson, first ward councilman of Portsmouth. Mr. Johnson supports the beautification efforts of Main Street through a plethora of avenues, from getting his hands dirty himself to organizing the Paul E Johnson Memorial Fund.
We recently held the Seventh Annual Paul E Johnson Memorial Fund Soiree, which was held by the hospitality of Terry Laxton-Donnally and Jim Donnally, at their beautiful, newly renovated home.
We welcomed around 45 guests who enjoyed fantastic food prepared by Bill Schafer and Haute Stuff Catering, who spoiled our guests beyond belief; drinks from the Donnallys, who have great taste in wine; music by the talented Steve Free and John Starkey, who showcased great tunes from Steve’s new album “Seasons;” and an evening of giving from everyone in attendance.
Through the wonderful support of our community, we were able to raise nearly $3,500 for the fund. This money will go towards upkeep in public locations, providing flowers in hanging baskets, new planters for various spots in the downtown, and whatever the creative mind of Sue Burke can come up with to better our fine city.
Even at a party to celebrate the 66th birthday of Paul Johnson and the betterment of downtown, Mr. Kevin W Johnson was busy working to ensure we had a smooth event. So, most importantly, I have to thank Mr. Johnson.
I am always impressed when I have an event with Mr. Johnson. He buys a ticket, but dons an apron and serves other guests. He makes a donation to support our work, but breaks from socializing to jump in and help when things get busy. He isn’t the kind of guy who is all talk. He knows when something needs done and he steps up to help. I think his dedication to bettering the community is undoubtedly his best trait and I’ve learned a lot from him while being on the job. He cares for my community and it means a great deal, at least to me.
So, on behalf of the collective force of Main Street Portsmouth, thanks to everyone who helped make another year successful.