A Houston organization has launched its annual membership drive for 2018.

Downtown Houston Inc., fresh off its opening of the Melba Performing Arts Center on Grand Avenue, kicked off the campaign this week. The organization says its strong membership base has been helpful in securing grants and other support for its projects.

In addition to the Melba project, the group developed the Lone Star Plaza, adding a canopy for use by the Lone Star Farmers Market; and renovated three store fronts on Main Street as part of the Lone Star Annex. It includes the county offices for University Extension, a community room and walk-in refrigeration and fast freezer for the farmers market. Earlier, a long closed market was transformed into the Houston Visitors Center and a nearby hillside rehabilitated.

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More about the Melba project can be found at

The cost of a business membership is $40. Individuals are $35.

Officers are: Brad Gentry, president; Kathy Richardson, vice president; and Vera Gladden, secretary-treasurer. The group’s mailing address to send a membership is: P.O. Box 170, Houston, Mo. 65483.

The organization maintains a website for the Melba project,

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