Each year, Downtown Inc recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals who have made a difference in Downtown York through their commitments of time, advocacy and resources at the Downtown First Awards. Downtown Inc is pleased to announce the winners of the 23rd Annual Downtown First Awards, held at Keystone Kidspace on the evening of Thursday, August 10, 2023. The winners from each category represent exceptional businesses, organizations, and individuals who have put Downtown York first, through their commitments of time, advocacy, and resources.
Congratulations to the 2023 Winners!
The Louis J. & Jody D. Appell Lifetime Achievement Award
Jane Conover and Jack Kay
Jane Conover and Jack Kay were presented with the Louis J. & Jody D. Appell Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring their embodiment of Mr. and Mrs. Appell’s legacy and lifetime commitment to the York community. Click here to read more about Jane and Jack.
Outstanding Large Business
Presented by Susquehanna Real Estate LP
White Rose Restaurant Group
With restaurants and venues such as the White Rose Bar & Grill, Rockfish Public House, Bridgewater Public House, and Valencia Ballroom, the White Rose Restaurant Group has provided culinary and event experience for all ages and interests for 90 years in Downtown York.
Outstanding WeCo District Business/Organization
Presented by Stock & Leader, Attorneys at Law
Owner, Justine Caraballo has a passion for cooking and bringing quality Puerto Rican foods to her loyal customers at Penn Market. Open every market day, Justine caters her menu to the cravings of her customers, a practice that pays off as she often sells out and has grown her online presence.
Outstanding Market District Business/Organization
Presented by CGA Law Firm
As a relatively new addition to the Downtown York business community, Refillism provides both service and a retail experience that is unmatched in Central PA. In addition to providing educational and retail opportunities for zero-waste lifestyles, Refillism also proudly supports and collaborates with many local businesses.
Outstanding Royal Square District Business/Organization
Presented by Traditions Bank
The Dark Parlour
Owner, Lauren Rae operates the only obscurities parlour in York County, bringing a refreshing outlook and insight to alternative lifestyles, histories, and collectibles that explore the human condition. As the organizer of Fang Around, a Royal Square district-wide event, they continue to promote inclusion, and acceptance, and showcase local merchants, musicians, and artists of varying nature.
Outstanding Nonprofit Organization
Presented by Shipley Energy
Serving as an invaluable asset to thousands of York children and their families, Keystone Kidspace embodies the best of the Historically Edgy spirit through the renovation of an underutilized historic building into a modern center of creativity, exploration, and fun, while making it affordable to all regardless of income.
Better York Appell Beautification Award
Presented by Better York
Richard R. Reilly
Attorney at Law: Sitting on Philadelphia Street, Rich Reilly’s building serves as a beautiful, welcoming corner into the city. From his planters to his new outdoor seating to his bird feeders, Attorney Riley is always cleaning up, watering plants, and taking pride in his corner to ensure its cheerful welcome to the city.
Presented by PeoplesBank, A Codorus Valley Company
As a committed downtown dweller, Jason is always eager to share about his love of Downtown York. He frequently volunteers his time to provide insights as a local real estate professional or serving as a tour guide for Downtown Inc’s Sweetest Pint Tasting Tours or as a Downtown Ambassador.
The Change Maker Award
Presented by C.S. Davidson
She has been a lifelong educator with York City School District at both Hannah Penn Middle School and Willian Penn Senior High School, and began volunteering with the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP) in 2015 with their Summer Jumpstart initiative. She’s an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Cornerstone Baptist Church where her husband Rev. Dr. Mark Kearse is pastor. Both organizations are dedicated to serving the needs of the York community.