Kim MacGregor ‘Volunteer of the Week’Published 9:41pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Kim MacGregor, adviser for the Edward Jones financial services firm at 148 S. Front St. in Dowagiac since Dec. 6, 2010, has been instrumental in revitalizing the 28-year-old Summer in the City Festival opening today as a Chamber of Commerce volunteer board member.
The board resurrected the beer garden (overseen by Kyle Belew of The Wounded Minnow) dropped in the ’90s and amusement rides that last appeared in 2004 to increase attendance among three demographics — young professionals ages 25 to 45, who have not been well-represented for many years; day visitors from vacation resort communities such as Sister Lakes; and, on Saturday, to entice Steve’s Run competitors to linger downtown after their awards ceremony.
Q. What’s involved in planning a three-day festival?
“We’ll start planning next year’s the week after it ends. It isn’t just (the board); a lot of business owners put their hearts into it. My focus has been on (restoring) the beer garden,” which involved putting together a proposal for City Council consideration. “Kris (Lamphere) at Who Knew? did kids, with the carnival rides, Frisbee dogs for the next step up and BMX. I think she did a great job finding unique things for the younger generation. The city was very helpful and supportive.”
Q. What else do you do as a volunteer?
While she champions Dowagiac by day, MacGregor lives in Sturgis.
“I help St. Joseph County United Way, which my sister directs, whenever I can. There was a time when I was on five different boards, including northern Indiana housing, but you can’t get as much done being that involved. You feel like a figurehead who gives advice. I’m hands-on and like to see something created that I saw through. Some people are idea people, and others are better at doing and accomplishing.
Q. Why is it important to volunteer?
I do it for betterment of the community. It’s gone hundreds of years without me, but I like to think I can help in some small way. If Dowagiac succeeds, I succeed. It’s to everyone’s benefit to volunteer. It gives them an opportunity to have a voice and to make a difference in making things better.”