Meet Me On McLean: Mclean Avenue Merchants Association
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Welcome to McLean Avenue Merchants Association!

Meet Me On McLean!
Photo courtesy of Nuala Purcell

 

Letter from the Chairman

The McLean Avenue Merchants Association has existed in various forms for nearly 30 years; some of the organization's original members are still active today. The original group started small, collecting money for Christmas lights for the McLean Avenue business corridor and running Saturday Sidewalk Sales.

On November 13, 2006 a letter went out to all merchants on McLean Avenue to invite them to a meeting about the upcoming Urban Revitalization,scheduled for the spring of 2007. Some proposed changes were new sidewalks, pedestrian lamps, garbage pails & benches along with trees & decorative areas. At this meeting many concerned merchants stopped by,signed up to continue getting information and decided it would be a good idea to meet 4 times a year.

In August of that same year ,a street festival was held in honor of my grandmother's 85th birthday and the 40th anniversary of the store named for her, Anna Artuso's Pastry Shop. The celebration ran from 9AM until about 7PM with free music, food and games, and many local politicians stopped by to honor Anna and her legacy. It was a resounding success, and then-Mayor Phil Amicone told me, "Nothing like this has ever been seen on the East Side of Yonkers, ever. You need to keep it up."

Five years later on March 30th, 2011, a small group of merchants was invited to a meeting to discuss a number of innovative agenda items, including:

  • an annual festival,
  • beautification projects,
  • a possible parade and
  • the formation of the Merchants Association.

By May that small group grew into about 20 members just meeting and discussing ideas, and those members decided to invite and hold a meeting of all merchants doing business on McLean Avenue. The day of that meeting was June 30th, 2011, where we discussed all of the above projects, joined committees, and planned a 1st Annual Fall Festival. We didn't know at the time what we had started, or how we would grow over the next few years.

By September 2013, we had held three hugely successful MAMA Fall Festivals, two amazing parades with thousands of spectators, two Christmas tree lightings, and continued the tradition of hanging Christmas lights up and down our business corridor all the way from Bronx River Road to Lee Avenue. During that time has taken on more than 100 members, and as a group we are now also members of the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, attending many grand openings and special events throughout the City of Yonkers. This is how we started, and this core of the organization has never changed. Through advertising outlets, social media, events and charities, we make sure we take care of our members and the surrounding community.

Our active members are unique. Many of us are not just members of MAMA, but also of other groups & organizations around the area doing good work for those in need, and trying to better those communities as well. We enjoy meeting monthly, and actually miss each other if we skip a month. Not all members can make it to the meetings, but the officers of the organization send out emails and visit member shops keeping them informed and up-to-date on everything going on around McLean Avenue.

"Let MAMA take care of you" and "Meet me on McLean" are slogans we've adopted from the time we started; people find the play on words with MAMA a lot of fun. That's what we are: a dedicated group of hard-working merchants who care for our community and neighbors, where most of us live, work and play! McLean Avenue offers the best in mom-and-pop shops, dining and entertainment for the whole family; a true community in every sense of the word.

Meet me on McLean!

Sincerely,

RJ Puma
Chairman, McLean Avenue Merchants Association
Owner/Operator of Anna Artuso's Pastry Shop

 

 

 

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Selected photographs courtesy of Shannon Lee Gilstad.
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