Mall Night of Giving event to benefit charities
With only 37 shopping days left until Christmas, some malls across the country, including the Westmoreland Mall, in Hempfield Township, will offer a day of extended hours, special discounts, numerous prizes and live entertainment -- all while helping charitable and non-profit organizations.
The Night of Giving event, on Sunday, is an evening of private shopping with special savings exclusively for those who contribute $5 to a favorite participating charity.
Non-profit and not-for-profit organizations are selling wristbands which shoppers will wear for admittance into the mall 6-9 p.m. Only those with wristbands are permitted in the mall during the event hours. All proceeds from the wristband sales will go directly to the organizations for their cause. Wristbands are available in advance through the participating organizations or at the Customer Service Center at the mall. Wristbands will also be available the day of the event at the mall. Mall sales will be split equally among all benefiting charities. In addition, some charity representatives will have wristbands available at the entrances of the mall.
Dawn Gnieski, marketing director at the Westmoreland Mall, said the event is a first for the Hempfield Township mall, which is owned and managed by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., of Chattanooga, Tenn. According to a press release issued by CBL, the goal of the nationwide event is to raise more than one million dollars for the combined charities.
"Our Night of Giving affects the lives of thousands of people through more than 1,200 charities across the country," president of CBL, Stephen Lebovitz, said in the press release. "It also helps our retails partners get a jump-start on holiday sales."
At Westmoreland Mall, which features more than 170 specialty shops and is anchored by Bon-Ton, J.C. Penney, Kaufmann's and Sears, some stores will offer special discounts during the event in the form of buy-one-get-one-free food items, up to 50 percent off of selected items and other deals. Gnieski said that each shopper will receive a brochure detailing discounts offered by stores.
Additionally, the mall will give away door prizes every 15 minutes during the event. Consumers will enter the drawing by leaving a ticket at the door when entering.
"We are giving away oodles of prizes," Gnieski said. "There are literally thousands of dollars in door prizes."
All major department stores in the mall will give away $100 gift cards and the mall will offer a $200 gift card. Other door prizes include tickets for area entertainment events, items donated by the charities and more.
Gnieski said shoppers need not be present to win, but they will need to attend the event to leave a name, address and phone number on the ticket to enter. The drawings will be held in the J.C. Penney court.
In addition to deal-finding consumers, the mall will be filled with live entertainment to usher in the holiday season.
Throughout the evening, shoppers will enjoy music from strolling entertainers and the Heartland Carolers. Trombino's Holiday Concert will be held 6:30 p.m. in the Bon-Ton court. WDSY FM will be broadcasting live 6-8 p.m. and WZPT FM will hold a live broadcast 7-9 p.m. 2003 Mrs. Pennsylvania, Patty Pezzano, will also appear. Refreshments will be available.
"We are looking forward to this as being an annual event," Gnieski said. "It is a way for us to give back to the community."
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