ST. CLOUD – An organization in central Minnesota is raising funds to empower women and girls, while spreading the holiday cheer and supporting local businesses.
The Zonta Club in St. Cloud is hosting their second annual Christmas House Shop Hop this week. The event is a revamped version of the Zonta Christmas House fundraiser which has a 32-year tradition.
Club president Deb kellerman says the socially distant turn of the event remains in place this year due to lingering concerns over COVID-19.
We just haven’t found a homeowner who embraces the idea of ââhaving 1,200 to 1,500 people walk into their home, and there’s no way to socially distance them. So we went back to the drawing board and said okay, then it’s shopping again.
Kellerman says they hope to return to the original Christmas House format in 2022.
The Shop Hop features 16 businesses in central Minnesota, including some in Albany, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud, St. Joseph and Waite Park.
To participate, you can donate $ 15 to Club Zonta in exchange for a punch card that you can take with you and have each location stamped while you browse the holiday displays and do your Christmas shopping.
The profits will be used to fund the Alliance of Anna Marie and the Refuge of Terebinth, as well as to provide various scholarships. Kellerman is saying right now that support is more important than ever.
During the pandemic, violence against women increased. And so, the organizations we fund, like Anna Marie and the Center for Sexual Assault, have seen the number of cases increase tenfold.
Discounts are also offered at 10 businesses in central Minnesota and over $ 4,000 in prizes are distributed. Shop Hop starts on Tuesday and continues through Sunday.
The Zonta Club of St. Cloud was founded in 1950 and is part of Zonta International.