Luminaries will light the way on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 1, as many of the Urbana downtown merchants open their doors for the first Downtown Urbana Candlelight Walk. Due to the cancellation of the Cancer Association of Champaign County’s (CACC) Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes, retailers discussed how they could help the association raise additional funds.
On Saturday, the stores will be decorated with luminaries, and during the hours of 4-7 p.m., each will have a promotion to encourage customers to donate to the Cancer Association. In addition, merchants will donate a portion of their sales.
Tina Knotts, owner of Let’s Eat Cake, said, “We are grateful for the support we receive from the community and this is our way of giving back.” Several of the merchants have volunteered to sell CACC calendars during December. The group has been in contact with Brett Evilsizor, president of the CACC, who is supportive of their efforts. Pat and Patsy Thackery, owners of Cafe Paradiso, have agreed to participate and are asking other downtown restaurants to get involved.
As of press time, Oxner’s, Community Thrift, Lily’s Garden, Fruit Salad, Let’s Eat Cake, PB&J on Main, The Bull, and Kaleidoscope are participating retailers. Each shop will have at least six luminaries to make the downtown area festive and light the way for customers.
According to its website, the Cancer Association helps people dealing with the effects of cancer and provides financial assistance with medicines, treatment and transportation. The funds stay in Champaign County, and the organization is totally funded by donations. United Way provides funds for 30-40 percent of the CACC’s budget. CACC is totally staffed by volunteers and is able to return to Champaign County residents more than 90 cents of each dollar received.
Information from Suzanne McCoy.