This Valentine's Day, shoppers in Towson can safely wait until the last minute knowing their procrastination could ultimately help raise money for a good cause.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, nine businesses at Ruxton Station will participate in the one-day fundraiser, "Shop in the Name of Love," which benefits the One Love Foundation, a charity formed to honor the memory of Cockeysville native and Notre Dame Prep graduate, Yeardley Love.
In May 2012, Love, 22, and a senior at the University of Virginia, was murdered. Former boyfriend George Huguely V, now 25, was convicted last year of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., will be highlighted by a celebration with refreshments, a lighting display and a performance by the Semiquavers a capella group from Roland Park Country Day School.
Participating businesses include Ellie Boutique, Garnish Boutique, Grauls, Grauls Wine Shop, J. McLaughlin, Jewels, Linens and Lingerie, The Little Shoebox and Salon Method. A handful of stores will feature One Love Foundation items such as Vineyard Vines ties and tote bags, and 10-percent of all proceeds from shoppers wearing a One Love Foundation ribbon that day will be donated to the foundation. The One Love Foundation aims to end relationship violence using technology and education.
Seth McDonnell, an operations manager with One Love Foundation, credited Ellie Boutique manager Bridget McConkie with spearheading the event. McDonnell said the shops band together occasionally to support various charities, and McConkie, who has previously hosted an event to benefit the foundation, rallied support from the other stores.
"She seems to have a strong passion for what we're doing," McDonnell said. "People were thrilled to jump on board and help our cause. She made it a very simple process."
McConkie said Love was a babysitter for the children of one of the store's employees and was a friend to many other employees. So when McConkie was looking to donate to a charity, the One Love Foundation "was one that really touched home."
McDonnell said timing the event for Feb. 13 made sense for several reasons. Given the One Love Foundation's name, he said a Valentine's Day event was a natural fit. February is also National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
Last year, the foundation dedicated a new turf field at Notre Dame Prep in Towson and kicked off the "Be 1 for Change" campaign, its signature relationship violence education program.