Two Brock philanthropists have come up with a plan to help local businesses and support charity.
All they need is the help of their fellow students to shop and eat downtown, and throw a little extra on their tab for Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Catharines-Thorold and District.
Called the Local Business Crawl, the event is for students, staff and faculty, who can pick up a passport – a booklet of coupons – on campus for deals at participating downtown stores where they will be asked to make a $1-donation to Big Brothers with their purchase.
Shoppers will also be entered into a raffle for $600-worth of prizes, including gift cards, dinners and private events, from the different shops and restaurants involved.
The idea for the crawl comes from the Brock Philanthropists, two students – Rucha Patel and Cameron Alderdice – who created a club earlier this year that’s dedicated to hosting events to raise money for local charities.
The Local Business Crawl is the club’s second event. The first, a carnival, held on campus in September, raised money for Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold.
Alderdice, a business communications student, said the Local Business Crawl was motivated by his own interest in giving downtown St. Catharines a boost.
“I think local businesses are important to support,” Alderdice said. “You can see from our downtown that some businesses need the help and that’s why they were receptive to (participating).”
Some of the deals include 20 per cent off board games at the Toy Trove, 10 per cent off at Serendipity Sweets, half-price pizza at Dom’s, and lunch specials at Strega Café and Coffee Culture. Sixteen businesses in all are participating in the crawl.
The promotions are valid until Dec. 1. If the crawl is a success, Alderdice and Patel hope to make it an annual event.
Choosing to help Big Brothers was easy for the duo, who were keen to support programs that benefit children or promote literacy.
“There’s a focus on children, which is important, especially in St. Catharines,” said Patel, a commuications, pop culture and film student. “I find the community is not as tightknit as I wish it was. We have events like the Grape and Wine Festival… but there’s not a lot of activities or programs just for children.”
Charities are also selected based on how they spend the money club raises from its events.
“We do want to make sure that these charities are using the money wisely and using it to treat a problem and not a symptom of a problem,” Alderdice said.
Business crawl passports can be picked up at the Schmon Tower information desk, the Student Leadership and Innovation Commons (MCA 204), or the reception desk at BUSU.
Draws for the raffle prizes will happen in early December.