Unsung heroes of SOMC

By Joseph Pratt - Executive Director of Main Street Portsmouth



A lot goes into planning an event or party and very little time is often afforded to do so. You have the responsibilities of finding a venue, finding a caterer, booking the entertainment, planning decorations, planning layouts, picking the meal, organizing volunteers and staff, promoting it, and so on.

It is the only thing with a list that, inexplicably, gets longer the more you check things off of it.

The success of an event depends completely on who you have in your corner, helping you achieve your goals. Most know I am the executive director of Main Street Portsmouth and I help organize many events. I typically feel pretty confident going into an event, however, not only because of our dedicated volunteers, but because of our friends at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

When it comes to community partners, SOMC often stands in the background of what they support. It is a humble and thankless job, and most people don’t realize how much good happens in the area, thanks to support of the professionals at the organization. They support local events, causes, and organizations more than most people realize, and in more ways than just providing financial support.

SOMC continues to be a major financial supporter of Main Street Portsmouth, but, more than that, it continues to be a friend that assists in organization.

Not only does SOMC’s Kara Redoutey serve on the Main Street Portsmouth board, providing extensive support and knowledge to the team, but the organization assists in planning many of the events and the responsibilities mentioned above.

Two of Main Street Portsmouth’s largest annual events are held in the SOMC Friends Center. This support has provided more growth opportunities, with the large space that has been newly updated with large screens, new, smarter technology, and a powerful sound system.

A venue is only half the benefit, however, because it means the support of Jennifer Schackart and Kim Evens, which boils down to why I am writing this column.

I love these two ladies. When it comes to rock star community supporters behind the scenes, these two own the market on it. They constantly go above and beyond to help people in the community, and never ask for anything extra in return.

Going into an event at SOMC, I know I am in good hands with these two, not only because they are great at party planning and decorating on a budget, but because they are the best kind of problem solvers who make any “uh-oh” that pops up 15 minutes before opening the doors a cake walk to fix.

At any large event, there are always going to be minor details and mishaps that go unplanned. Luckily, in our case, they are immediately fixed by these two, without a moment of hesitation. Years of practice and patience help these two ease into the stressful workload of an event, which they succeed at, as they do every other 364 days of the year, from weddings to major community benefits.

As a community, we often choose to buy a car at Glockner, because we know they are a reliable business that supports our neighbors. We often choose Bihl’s Office Supply, because they offer the most competitive prices for all small business and home needs. We often choose our small-town insurance agencies, because they are always a call away and available to hold your hand through disaster.

I think it is important to recognize SOMC for the work they do at the Friends Center, with Jennifer and Kim at the helm, so that we help those who help us. Jennifer and Kim work on weddings, large parties and gatherings, and more. Rest assured, knowing your big day will go without flaws, and book your next event at the SOMC Friends Center.


By Joseph Pratt

Executive Director of Main Street Portsmouth