After writing this morning about a local fundraising effort to save beloved Edwardsville store Once Upon a Toy from bankruptcy, Daily RFT received word that the initiative has been an overwhelming success. And it appears now that the small business will stay afloat after a crowdsourcing effort in less than a week easily surpassed an initial $75,000 goal.
"I can't believe what has just happened! This entire process has been epic and fairy tale like!" Once Upon a Toy owner Shawnta' Ray wrote on Facebook today. "This story is actually about a group of people who worked together to make something happen out of love, not just about a small business who was gifted a second chance."
How did residents save the toy store? Details below along with our original coverage of the fundraising effort.
Through an online Crowdtilt campaign, the initiative to keep the toy store alive, has raised more than $80,400 as of this writing, which means that the local mainstay will stay in Edwardsville.
The story and the push for donations went viral after supporters came up with $25,000 in less than 24 hours.
Here's the owner's full message followed by our original coverage.
O.K. - Deep breath! We just got back in the door from, guess what? ...a Game night ;) I can't believe what has just happened! This entire process has been epic and fairy tale like! We're totally humbled by the support of our family, friends, employees, customers and other local businesses. None of this could have happened without you. This story is actually about a group of people who worked together to make something happen out of love, not just about a small business who was gifted a second chance. I wish the entire country could see what you've accomplished. Hopefully this shows the fragility of local businesses and the importance of the community choosing to support them. You people have made a powerful and important statement!
I just wanted to extend some promises to everyone: We promise you a happy place to come on rainy days! We promise you feel you are appreciated as customers everytime you are in our store! We promise to walk cautiously with this gift of a chance and to do our best to not let you down! We realize the oppurtunity we have been given and are not going to take it for granted. As always "DO TOUCH, DO PLAY!" remains the motto!!
Now where are we going to put that big ruber chicken?
Continue for our original coverage.