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Businesses show love for good causes

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Representatives of downtown businesses and local nonprofits gather Friday at the International Museum and Research Center park on West Second Street to mark the conclusion of the fourth annual Main Street Has a Heart fundraising effort, coordinated by MainStreet Roswell. In the back row, from left, are MainStreet Executive Director Kathy Lay; Andrea and Donald James of Ancient of Days; Danny Burke of Rugged Trade; Reina DiNapoli of Tascosa Office Machines; Krystle Smith of Roswell Humane Society; Sergio Beltran of Runyan Ranches; Dene Van Winkle of Imagine That! Scrapbooks and Gifts; Pastor Steven Cholak of Immanuel Lutheran School; Mary Colby, CASA deputy director; and Megan Cederberg of CASA. In the front row, from left, are MainStreet Board President Kim Wood; Shawn Higgins of Friends of Roswell Animals; Camille Graham of Runyan Ranches Rescue Zoo; Camryn Hennington and Graham Hennington of She's a Dandy; Ariana Perez of Rustic Essentials; Alicia Gilmore of Alicia Pest Control, Berkshire Hathaway and Community Kitchen; and Sean Scates of CASA. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Local downtown businesses raised thousands of dollars — as well as shoes, cleaning supplies and other needed items — for area nonprofits during this year’s Main Street has a Heart fundraising event.

The campaign coordinated by MainStreet Roswell has occurred each February for the past four years, although some businesses conduct donation drives or fundraising events throughout the year for the cause of their choice.

The campaign typically has its launch during the First Friday in February. First Fridays are also coordinated by MainStreet and are held in the evenings on the first Friday of each month to encourage downtown shopping and activities.

Kathy Lay, executive director of MainStreet Roswell, said she was pleased that so many businesses agreed to participate this year, during a challenging economic time for many.

“Some of our businesses are struggling to keep their doors open,” she said, “yet they are still willing to give and to provide opportunities for others to give.”

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This year, eight businesses participated. Rustic Essentials supported the therapy dog program of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Chaves County. The Gallery and Main Street Arts partnered with the Roswell Fine Arts League. The Farmhouse on Second Street supported Roswell Community Kitchen. Tascosa Office Machines worked with the Roswell Humane Society. Ancient of Days partnered with Friends of Roswell Animals. She’s a Dandy raised money for Runyan Ranches Rescue Zoo. Imagine That! Scrapbooks and Gifts worked with Immanuel Lutheran School, and Rugged Trade supported the homeless.

Having just opened its Roswell location in October, Rugged Trade was part of the Main Street Has a Heart campaign for the first time this year.

Danny Burke said the company has its own affiliated nonprofit, the 47 Club, that provides shoes for children, veterans and the homeless.

Its work with the Main Street Has a Heart campaign was to collect shoes to give to the homeless and to donate from its own inventory.

He said the company also regularly supports first responders by donating one face mask to them for every two face masks sold.

“Overall,” he said, “we are looking to build great relationships.”