First Friday to focus on being warm

Lisa Schott, left, and Donna Parsons, right stand behind the counter at their store, Thrifty Treasures, in Wapakoneta. The store is a member of Wapakoneta Antique and Specialty Shops, which hosts the return of "First Friday" tomorrow evening. Shops participating in "First Friday" will be open until 8 p.m. and will be collecting winter clothing donations for Mercy Unlimited.
Staff Writer

Wapakoneta businesses will be keeping the lights on a little bit late Friday night as members of the Wapakoneta Antique and Specialty Shops (WASS) take part in 2018's initial First Friday.

This month's event, which will mark a year of WASS's participation, will take on a weather-appropriate theme: "Warming Wapak."

After a year of bringing in customers for their extra hours events, Lisa Schott and Donna Parsons of Thrifty Treasures decided WASS should give back.

"We wanted to do something for the community, so we decided we would take collections of hats, gloves, coats, scarves, other warm items, and donate them to people who need them," Schott said.

The donations will then be turned over to Mercy Unlimited for distribution.

Schott and Parsons recognized that there would always be a need for warm winter clothing.

"We both have grandkids. We know that there are kids who don't always have gloves and hats," Parsons said. "And their parents."

But the idea to collect the items and pass them along to Mercy Unlimited evolved from a charitable effort a WASS member saw in another town. "They saw scarves and mittens and things hanging from a tree downtown, and if anybody need them, they could just take them off the tree," Schott said. "Well, Donna brought up, what if we had a slushy rain? They'd be all wet and people wouldn't be able to use them until they dried out."

"I know if people are on hard times they go down to Mercy Unlimited because they will help them out," she added. "We thought...

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