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Posted: 12/25/13

MRP cuts Romantic Days
for bigger events

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Romantic celebrations may make way for big hearts and shiny heads this winter in downtown Romeo.
       The Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals Association (MRP) has sent its winter event to the chopping block, but is planning to support the St. Baldrick's Foundation with a new event.
       MRP members have also alluded to a big event in the works for winter 2015.
       Romeo MRP President Connie Connelly said the MRP decided to cancel its annual Romeo Romantic Days event in February to make way for a new winter-themed event. She said the holidays, however, are preventing the MRP from investing the effort needed to execute the new event.
       "There is just not enough time at the moment," she said. "We want to be able to give an event the attention it really needs to get it off the ground."
       Romeo Romantic Days focused on St. Valentine's Day sales and events, including chocolate treats and horse-drawn carriage rides. Instead of holding Romantic Days in 2014, the MRP wants to work with the St. Baldrick's Foundation Romeo fundraiser to hold a 5K run and 1K walk that would benefit the foundation.
       The annual fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, to be held March 15, 2014, asks volunteers to shave their heads after collecting donations for childhood cancer research. Connelly said some people are leery about having their heads shaved, so an alternative fundraiser could bring in more money and awareness.
       "If we work on St. Baldrick's and help the charity do what it needs to do, I think we can get a lot of exposure with that as well," Connelly said.
       She said the MRP needs to speak with St. Baldrick's fundraiser coordinators as well as with village officials to see if a walk or run is feasible.
       In addition to the St. Baldrick's event, the MRP is putting its heads together to create a bigger winter event to replace Romantic Days. MRP Treasurer Carol Humphreys said the date and theme of the new event, tentatively called "Romeo Snow Days," are still under wraps, but could involve ideas like ice carvings, a snow slide and snow games.
       "I think it will put Romeo on the map," she said.
       Vera Brant, MRP member and owner of Vera's Ballons-R-Fun, suggested the MRP and village could find a way to have an ice skating rink. She said in the 1940s the lot behind BP gas station used to become an ice rink, and wondered if a different location could be considered.
       "I think it'd be nice for the kids," Brant said.
       The MRP is inviting local businesses, groups and organizations to attend its Jan. 15 open membership meeting to provide input on ideas for downtown events. The MRP meets at 8 a.m. at 122 S. Main Street.
       For more information, visit www.romeoMRP.com.


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