Now people who always wanted to become a real citizen of Mayberry can have that opportunity in the form of the Official Honorary Citizen of Mayberry certificate.
The idea was hatched several weeks ago by local businessmen Steve Martin, Marty Adams and Joe Dellinger.
“It seemed so simple at first,” said Martin, “but the more we got into it, the more we realized that we wanted to have something that we and the whole community could be proud of and embrace.”
To that end, Martin, Adams and Dellinger — who call themselves M.A.D. (after the first letter of their last names) — spent a lot of time working on the design. Once they had a rough design in place, they went to Mayor Deborah Cochran and asked her if she would help them out by serving as the “Official Honorary Mayor of Mayberry.”
“Mayor Cochran presented the idea to the Mount Airy city commissioners, and they liked the idea, as did Jessica Roberts, director of tourism (for the chamber), and Betty Ann Collins, president and CEO of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce,” said Dellinger. “A component of the project that really appealed to the various city officials was our plan to donate $3 from the sale of each certificate to two organizations that do a wonderful job bringing business to town.”
Martin said $1.50 will go to the Surry Arts Council and $1.50 will go to the Mount Airy Downtown Business Association per certificate.
The Surry Arts Council operates such venues as the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Andy Griffith Museum, the Blackmon Amphitheatre and the Earle Theatre, while the DBA keeps Main Street and all of downtown active with parades, cruise-ins, dances and other events.
“We just want help fund, in our small way, all of that with the sale of the Official Honorary Citizen of Mayberry certificates,” said Martin.
“We wanted the certificates to look something like a diploma or degree,” said Adams, who serves as the M.A.D men’s design specialist. “After a lot of back-and-forth discussions among the three of us, we finally settled on a product that made us all happy.”
The certificates feature borders stamped with high-quality foil, an official seal, the motto “For outstanding contributions and services to America’s Hometown,” the recipient’s name, the date and Mount Airy Mayor Cochran’s signature.
Dellinger noted that several certificates will be presented to some local celebrities or people who have contributed to the idea of Mayberry.
“In other words we’re going to have some real honorary Honorary Citizens of Mayberry,” said Dellinger.
The certificates retail for $10 and, while they will initially be sold only at Mayberry on Main, the M.A.D. men say they have plans to sell them on the web, as well.
“We want people around the world to become citizens of Mayberry,” said Martin. “If these are successful, we have other types of Official Honorary Mayberry items that we want to produce.”
Cochran is excited about the project and the exposure it could potentially receive across the country and around the world.
“We always welcome new ideas that will enhance the experience of our visitors. It is good to see the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Mount Airy,” she said.
The certificates are available at Mayberry on Main, 192 N. Main St. in Mount Airy.
For more information, call Steve Martin or Joe Dellinger at 755-3558, 366-0763, 325-0753; email: email@example.com; or they can be reached at Yesterdays, 160 N. Main St., Unit 100, Mount Airy, NC 27030.
Mayberry on Main can be reached at 877-376-3788.