Augusta, Georgia – Some people spent the day shopping at mom-and-pop stores that benefit a local charity. The Augusta Woman’s Club hosted “Shop Local Day” to raise money for Savannah Riverkeeper. News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman has more on the one-day fundraiser and how the money is put right back into downtown Augusta.
On Sunday, 8 locally owned downtown businesses opened their doors to shoppers. The Augusta Woman’s Club sold coupon books for $20, but this event did more than just give people a chance to score some amazing deals on their holiday gifts. Downtown Augusta is the home of many one-of-a-kind businesses. This year, Augusta Woman’s Club had a few goals in mind to promote the vibrant area.
“One is trying to help a local charity and two to help the local businesses,” said Augusta Woman’s Club Treasurer Mary Jacobson.
David Hutchison and his wife own The Book Tavern on Broad Street. Hutchison says he didn’t hesitate when asked to support the Savannah Riverkeeper.
“It’s a local charity, Riverkeeper, and a worthy charity. Our river is the life blood of this ecology and this system without protecting it we won’t have fresh clean water.” Hutchison told WJBF News Channel 6. And shopping at these small businesses helps fund the clean up program of the Savannah River.
“When you have local companies, local businesses they care about the resources much more than maybe some of our big national corporations would,” said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.
The Augusta Woman’s Club Treasurer says she believes downtown is under utilized. “A lot of people I think were afraid to come downtown. So we were thinking if we did a coupon book deal that they would get with their friends and come down,” Jacobson said.
Bonitatibus says giving back to the community is important and many times it’s not at the top of many people’s to-do list.
“You can look at it this way. Would you rather have higher taxes or civic groups? Because a lot of the work that we do helps support things that otherwise the government would be supporting.” Bonitatibus told WJBF News Channel 6.
Since this is the first shopping event of its kind, the Augusta Woman’s Club and Savannah Riverkeeper say they hope to raise just a few hundred dollars on Sunday, but they plan to host another one-day shopping fundraiser next year.