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Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award Winners.

Ben Hardeman, Sandra Schaefer and Cassidy Barton were the big winners at the 12th Annual Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award ceremony held on the evening of Thursday, December 15.

Hardeman and Schaefer each won the Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award and Barton was awarded the Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award.

Hardeman was selected for his work with the Save the Queen initiative – an effort to raise money to repair the Queen Theater on Main Street. The updated façade was unveiled to much fanfare during this October’s Texas Reds Festival in Downtown. Hardeman not only leads a group that does fundraising, but also performs many of the manual tasks involved with rehabbing the building.

Schaefer, who manages Downtown’s Brazos Cotton Exchange was lauded for her efforts in bringing people to Downtown through the various events she hosts at the Cotton Exchange. Wedding receptions, parties, proms and business meetings are all staples at the Brazos Cotton Exchange – on the 3rd floor of the Howell Building.

Barton serves as the executive director of the Downtown Bryan Association, and was praised for her enthusiasm and creativity in adding-to and establishing events in Downtown. Barton recently led the charge on last week’s successful Christmas Parade in Downtown and has partnered with others on adding attractions to other Downtown events such as Lights On! and Texas Reds.

In honor of the Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award, The Bank & Trust’s Joe Salvato was on-hand to make a $500 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of the Brazos Valley. The Peterson Law Group also made a $500 donation at the event. Their gift was in honor of the Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award and was presented to the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley.


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