Bonner businesses set to ‘paint town purple’ for relay
The Kaw Valley Relay For Life has raised more than $1 million for cancer research in the past dozen years thanks to amazing support from the Basehor, Bonner Springs and Edwardsville communities.
“What’s funny is they didn’t even think we could ever sustain one, so they almost didn’t let us have one here,” said Debbie Lohmann, who is one of the members of the relay’s organizing committees. “It just blows me away.”
Lohmann and other relay organizers are hoping for some of that community support to shine through Thursday with the “Paint the Town Purple” event in downtown Bonner Springs. From 5 to 7 p.m., downtown businesses will once again offer a portion of their sales to support the Kaw Valley Relay For Life, which takes place June 13.
This is the second year the relay has organized the event among the businesses in the hope of raising a few more funds for the American Cancer Society. Lohmann got involved this year as she is also executive director for Vaughn-Trent, which has its main offices and Hidden Treasures Thrift Shop downtown.
Lohmann said last year’s Paint the Town Purple was not as successful as it could have been, partially because it was only a week before the relay. The decision was made to move it up a week also to give it distance from the relay’s “Bank Night” event, when relay teams turn it funds raised so far.
Another problem is that last year, Hidden Treasures — whose mission is specifically to support Vaughn-Trent’s social services — hadn’t been able to truly participate. The thrift store couldn’t take part without taking money away from Vaughn-Trent, though it did create a very purple window display in support of the event.
“This year, we had some stuff donated to us specifically for this so we could still participate,” Lohmann said.
So Hidden Treasures will have a drawing for a used Xbox 360 and also for T-Bones tickets.
Most other participating businesses will be donating 10 percent of their sales: The Pink Zebra, EJ’s Coffee Shop, This and That and Magnum Opus. Shoppers also can get their dinner while at the same time supporting the relay, because Bonner Springs Pizza Company will donate 15 percent of its sales.
Unfortunately, one of the newest downtown businesses, Flip KC, couldn’t participate, as it is only open on the second and fourth weekends of the month. Flip tends to boost downtown traffic on its weekends, so Lohmann’s hope for next year is to have the event on a corresponding weekend.
But for now, Lohmann hopes to see the community once again rally to support the relay through this unique event.
“We need to get some enthusiasm; the big thing is we just want people to come,” she said. “We just need people to come down and shop.”