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MainStreet businesses support nonprofits

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Community leaders, business owners and managers, and nonprofit representatives rounded themselves up Tuesday morning at Reischmann Park to mark the conclusion of MainStreet Roswell’s February fundraiser. The camel, burro and llama hail from Runyan Ranches Rescue Zoo, which received donations from She’s A Dandy shoe and apparel store. The therapy dogs with Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are beneficiaries of donations from Once Again Consignment and Sippy & Opal’s Ice Cream and Sweet Treats. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

From animals to book enthusiasts, to people in need of shelter and food, and women starting afresh, all received some extra funds or supplies following the “MainStreet Has a Heart” fundraiser in February.

For the past three years, each Valentine’s Day month — starting with the First Friday event in February — participating downtown businesses and other MainStreet Roswell members have raised funds, gifts or supplies from their own operations and from customers in support of a local nonprofit.

In a couple of instances, such as with Books Again and the Roswell Public Library, the donor-beneficiary endeavor lasts throughout the year.

For 2019, 12 businesses provided more than $2,650 in cash and 98 pounds of food, as well as clothing, supplies and artwork to 10 chosen charities, a total value estimated at $3,730, with some donations yet to be delivered or known. Besides the library, the other nonprofits included From Forgotten to Forever animal rescue, the Court-Appointed Special Advocates therapy dog program, Harvest Ministries, the Roswell Humane Society, MainStreet Roswell’s holiday lighting project, the Roswell Homeless Coalition, the Roswell Refuge, the Runyan Ranch Rescue Zoo and Starting Line.

A relatively new project associated with the Chaves County Assistance League, Starting Line helps women needing assistance to enter careers or start businesses by providing advice, guidance on interviewing and resumes, and gifts of professional attire, said board member Pat Walker. The group receives clothing donations throughout the year from Once Again Consignment, owned by Starting Line’s board president Molly Boyles, and from Casa Bella, which provides new clothing as well as its customers’ give-aways.

Barringer’s Floral Shop donated 98 pounds of food to Harvest Ministries, which is in addition to the donations of money, food and needed items such as umbrellas that the business provides the organization throughout the year.

“My daughter and I used to volunteer at Harvest Ministries before we bought Barringer’s,” said Autumn Dolen. “We don’t necessarily have time to volunteer anymore, but we can help from here,” she said. “It helps people in need in our community and that is very important to us.”

New Main Street business operator Amanda Mason, one of the owners of the family business Sippy and Opal’s Ice Cream and Sweet Treats, ran a matching gift program for the month. She matched each dollar that customers donated, up to $500. The result was a $1,070.84 check to the CASA dogs program. “I love dogs,” she said.

Detailed information is expected to be posted soon on MainStreet Roswell’s Facebook page.