Do you have a hankering to publicly display your affection for a loved one just in time for Valentine’s Day?
The Rotary Club of Squamish, in partnership with the Downtown Squamish BIA, is launching a campaign that will give the twitterpated a chance to proclaim their love in downtown shop windows.
Those wanting to surprise a spouse, family or friends for Valentine’s Day can order a wooden heart inscribed with a personal message. The hearts will be displayed in one of 27 downtown shop windows from Feb. 1 to 14. Which window is a surprise so participants have to go searching in store windows on Cleveland Avenue between Victoria Avenue and Winnipeg Street.
The Squamish Rotary Hearts in Downtown Squamish campaign is the brainchild of the Rotary’s Inis LeBlanc.
She originally saw a story about a long-running heart campaign in Loveland, Colorado.
“The idea is basically a personalized message on a wooden heart and they put them up downtown, on lampposts and such,” LeBlanc said. In Squamish there are rules about what you can post on the lampposts so the idea shifted to putting the hearts in store windows, she added.
Bianca Peters of the BIA said that the downtown business association’s board has decided to pair up more often with not-for-profits, like the Rotary.
“Here’s a way to show the community what these wonderful service groups are all about and what they are capable of,” she said. It is also a way to draw people downtown at a typically slow retail time of the year.
“Obviously we want to have economic development,” Peters added. “Put on your boots and come on downtown.”
There are a limited number of hearts, 50, made from the wood of used pallets.
“My world is all about reusing, recycling,” explained LeBlanc, who is also founder and executive director of Squamish Rebuild, the reuse-it supply store. Pallets are often tossed away items that could easily be repurposed and have a cool look to them, she said.
She and other Rotary volunteers transformed the pallets into painted hearts and will stencil the personalized messages.
The displayed hearts will be collected and reused for next year’s campaign. Three different sized hearts of various prices can be ordered by filling out a form found online and dropped off at Garibaldi Graphics downtown.
Money raised will go back to Rotary Club of Squamish to help support their various community initiatives.
The hope is the campaign will be expanded next year to include more hearts and more store windows, LeBlanc and Peters said.
Another aspect of the campaign is “looking for love.” Those who shop at businesses that display a heart, and those who bought a heart, will be entered to win a $500 gift basket.