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Michelle Sahr was the recipient of Main Street Kent's Ron Burbick Award, though the award's namesake decided to put his own twist on the award.
Burbick, an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose Acorn Alley has sparked a downtown Kent revival, presented the "squirrel with an attitude" to Sahr, owner of Off the Wagon and past president of Main Street Kent. The presentation took place at Main Street Kent's annual dinner at the Pufferbelly Tuesday. Burbick said the black squirrel trophy is a smaller replica of the large black squirrel he has stationed to greet visitors to Acorn Alley.
He assured the other past recipients that they would receive their own squirrel trophy soon, and urged them to put it in a prominent place in their businesses.
Burbick was the first recipient of the award, which was named in his honor.
He said Sahr and her late father, Karl, were among the first tenants in Acorn Alley, and he had to do quite a bit of work to persuade them to move their business to Kent. The business went on to expand, and now fronts on East Main Street.
Later, Sahr was brought on as vice president of Main Street Kent, and went on to become president of the organization.
"She did an excellent job of turning things around," Burbick said.
Sahr thanked all the members of Main Street Kent for the roles they played in making downtown successful.
"You all played a part," she said.
Sue Whiting, who is out of town, was given the Volunteer of the Year award.
Heather Malarcik, executive director of Main Street Kent, said Tuesday also was the day Main Street Kent had its annual evaluation by Heritage Ohio.
Joyce Barrett, who did the evaluation, also attended Main Street's annual dinner, and remarked on the progress Kent had made since the group was first formed six years ago.
"It's absolutely amazing what you've done here," she said.
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