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Sara McGibany of Alton Main Street had considerable support show up for a rally before and during the Alton City Council meeting on Wednesday night and she said she was “blown away” by the help the community offered.

“We had more than 1,200 on a petition supporting Main Street and 267 people responded to attending the rally,” she said. “It has shown the impact we have had and it’s grown over the years.”

Alton Main Street is a non-profit organization that assists local businesses and hosts many public events. A total of $18,000 was originally cut from Main Street's budget in the Alton City Budget, but an amendment was made last night to provide $7,000 in funding.

The Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau has agreed to house the office space for Alton Main Street and offered free services for any equipment needed to manage, which cuts the funds for rental space and the necessary utensils needed to operate.

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McGibany said she has appreciated the CVB’s attempt to work with her on office space and free services for equipment needed to manage the organization after the City of Alton cuts.

“We are looking forward to working together with all the parties involved to come up with an adequate solution and keep our mission going strong,” she said.

The signs and flyers for the rally were donated, McGibany said, which meant a lot to her.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Main Street, McGibany said.

She explained her role as executive director is she is "the glue that holds it all together." McGibany sees her position with Alton Main Street as so much more than a job.

“I have to make economic sacrifices with it, but I made that decision myself,” she said. “It is so much a part of my life. It is hard to separate this and my personal life. It all goes together. The volunteers are also my friends. It is a wonderful organization.”

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