Downtown Franklin Merchants Give Back to Charities This Friday

Twenty-two Businesses Donate 15 Percent of Sales to Charities Between 4-9 p.m.

More than 20 downtown Franklin merchants will band together this Friday, Feb. 8, to support nearly two dozen local charities through “Open Your Heart,” a collaborative fundraising effort coordinated by the non-profit Downtown Franklin Association (DFA).

The participating businesses will leave their doors open later and donate 15 percent of sales between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to a non-profit organization of their choice. Each shop or restaurant is within a four-block walking distance.

DFA Director Nancy Williams said the promotion was created to show support for community organizations through a unified effort among local merchants. This is the second event of its kind the DFA group has produced. A similar effort called “Dog Days of Summer” raised over $7,000 in July 2012.

“There are so many incredible reasons behind why our merchants have selected their particular local charities to support,” Williams said. “We’re passionate about raising awareness and money for these causes, and this event does both while bringing people to downtown Franklin.”

Merchants have picked non-profits ranging from animal welfare and healthcare groups to children’s advocacy programs, and many will support a cause that is near and dear to both their customers’ and their own hearts.

Puckett’s Boat House has chosen to support the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. In addition to donating 15 percent of their total sales between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, they will also launch a new “Puckett’s Dollar For Your Thoughts” initiative—one that will generate dollars for the Heritage Foundation for the next 11 months.

Beginning Friday, the seafood-focused eatery on East Main Street will provide each table with buckets of tape and markers, and encourage customers to pin dollar bills—with their own custom messages—to its low ceiling. At the end of the year, all of the money will be gathered and given to the Heritage Foundation.

“Williamson County has created a culture of giving back, and the Boat House tries to help drive that in whatever ways we can,” General Manager JT Ward said. “[Owner] Andy Marshall thought of a fun way to engage our customers while advancing a non-profit’s mission, and this group in particular does so much for our community.”

The Heritage Foundation’s board and staff will gather at the Boat House at 5 p.m. on Friday to pin the first bills. The non-profit organization asks locals to join them in kicking off “Puckett’s Dollar For Your Thoughts” during the “Open Your Heart” event.

“It’s a fun attraction, but there is a purpose behind the game,” Ward said. “I think the Heritage Foundation will be the topic of a lot of conversations here because of this.”

The DFA’s members are dedicated to the continued revitalization and promotion of Historic Downtown Franklin. To learn more about the event, visit www.downtownfranklintn.com/blog.

Participating merchants include:

  • Ave Moi supporting WAVES
  • Bagbey House supporting Williamson County Animal Shelter
  • Baskin Robbins supporting Friends of Franklin Parks, LLC
  • Bink’s Outfitters supporting the Harpeth Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Boutique MMM supporting the Wounded Warrior Project
  • Carpe Diem supporting TBA
  • The Coffee House at Second and Bridge supporting the Steve McCauley Memorial Scholarship
  • Creative Find-N-Design supporting Mercy Ministries
  • The Franklin Theatre supporting the Williamson County African American Heritage Society
  • The Heirloom Shop supporting the Ty2 Foundation
  • Honey’s Vintage Sweets supporting Against the Grain’s “Image Builders” program
  • Jack Yacoubian Jewelers supporting the American Heart Association
  • Johnnie Q supporting Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue
  • JONDIE supporting Williamson County CASA
  • Kaleidoscope supporting Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County
  • LuLu Franklin supporting ReDesign
  • McCreary’s Irish Pub supporting Our Thrift Store
  • Merridee’s supporting New Hope Academy
  • Puckett’s Boat House supporting The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County
  • Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin/Williamson County
  • The Registry supporting Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
  • Serendipity Skincare & Cosmetics supporting GraceWorks Ministries
  • Sweet CeCe’s supporting Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Tennessee

**please note: we had listed that Bink’s Outfitters was supporting the Tennessee Wildlife Federation through Open Your Heart. That was our mistake; the shop is donating to the Harpeth Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.