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'Occupy Main Street' to Wind Down

Moving to North Carolina, co-founder Sarah O'Grady opts to close Facebook page.

Like the shuttered Mount Kisco stores it formed in reaction to, the ad hoc Occupy Main Street group is going out of business.

Sarah O'Grady, a village resident and group co-founder, explained that the decision is because she and her husband are moving to Raleigh, NC, where he is starting a new job. Maria Colaco, the other co-founder, moved to Valley Stream, Long Island this summer when her husband, Methodist Church Pastor Matthew Curry, transferred to a congregation in the area.

O'Grady explained, "The Occupy thing has truly been an uphill battle, and now that Maria and I both (ironically) are exiting Mount Kisco, it's not possible for us to continue to volunteer our time and efforts to the community, especially when so much of it required face-to-face pleading and door-to-door requests for retailer support."

The result means the the group's Facebook page will be shut down in a few weeks, she explained. O'Grady is moving to North Carolina this weekend.

Having moved to Mount Kisco roughly four years ago, on Halloween day, O'Grady recalled how downturn in the economy followed.

Over time, the village's downtown became plagued with closures of major stores, ranging from Borders to The Flying Pig. Vacancies are still prominent in the downtown business district but appear to have leveled off. The Occupy Main group formed as a way to bring attention to the village's situation and to help improve the experience of being in Mount Kisco.

O'Grady, writing on the group's Facebook page, described its mission.

"The truth is, Occupy Main started because we cared so much about where we live that we couldn't imagine NOT doing something to make it better," she explained. "Mount Kisco was experiencing a very big slowdown in commerce and was developing a reputation for being "not a very good place to do business." Which in turn trickles down to "not a very good place to spend money/shop/dine," and "not a very good place to live/buy/rent." We knew this town was more than that, so we set out - as two residents with NO ulterior motives - to "BE THE CHANGE," and inspire some locals to come together, grassroots style, and reinvent Mount Kisco."

The group, in less than a year of existence, promoted awareness of the vacancies, organized a gathering for business improvement, a scavenger hunt, and attempted to put on an outdoor festival called Kisco Summer Sunday, which was halted by Mother Nature.

In her writing, O'Grady also held out hope that the goals of the group will be taken up by someone else.

"Now that we are both exiting Mount Kisco, we hope that someone else decides to step up and "Be the Change."" 

O'Grady, who runs a personal local blog called Westchester Life, will be writing under a new blog, which she calls Raleigh Life.

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