Shoppers give love, and bucks, to help ailing stores’ health


By Lincoln Anderson

Trying to inject some much-needed financial aid into local businesses hard hit by the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital last April, the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and local politicians teamed up last Saturday to host a shopping fest and raffle event dubbed “A Valentine for the Village.”

The event lasted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which time participants made purchases from merchants and restaurants in the triangular area bounded by Greenwich and Sixth Aves. and 14th St.

The shoppers got a sendoff from local elected officials — including Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler and state Senator Tom Duane, along with Tony Juliano, the chamber’s president — reminding them of the importance of revitalizing the neighborhood’s economy through their dollars.

Any purchase of more than $10 was good for one raffle ticket at raffles held every half-hour at the Lesbian and Gay Center on W. 13th St. Free T-shirts — with “Love the Village” printed on the front and “Live Here, Love Here, Shop Here” on the back — were given to the first 100 participants to show receipts totaling $10 or more from three stores.

According to Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s Office, receipts totaling more than $2,500 were collected. About 50 people participated in the shop-a-thon. Local merchants donated 26 raffle prizes, among them Tea & Sympathy, Murray’s Cheese (“lunch-sack specials” coupons), Whole Foods Market in Chelsea, Bee Deserts and Cafe, Magnolia Bakery (two gift coupons for a dozen cupcakes each), Partners & Crime bookstore, Chelsea Piers, the McBurney YMCA (a free six-month membership), Tio Pepe restaurant, Citarella, Rizza salon, Roasting Plant Coffee Company (mugs, coffee, hats and T-shirts) and the Fire Store (sweatshirts).

Two raffle prizes remain — as do a few bags of T-shirts. Not everyone took T-shirts on Saturday, including some Community Board 2 members and other activists, who said others should get them.

Glick is reportedly thinking of organizing a bigger event along similar lines, but details were not available at press time.

To enter the raffle for the two remaining prizes, send receipts from three businesses within the designated area totaling at least $10 (people may enter more than once) by Feb. 28 to Glick’s office, either by mail: Assemblymember Deborah Glick, 853 Broadway, Suite 1518, New York, NY 10003; fax, 212-674-5530; or e-mail, parsonl@nysa.us . The drawing will be March 1.