To the editor:
Five years ago, I moved to quaint and charming Franklin from Louisville, Ky. I considered many locations in the area such as Indianapolis, Whiteland and Columbus, but I chose here, what is now my hometown.
The many reasons that led me to choose Franklin were its historic architecture, vast park system, biking trails, walkability, community center and events, beautiful downtown with unique stores and restaurants and its higher education opportunities. We really do have a great town here. And, in so many ways, our town is improving.
We now have an art gallery downtown, fine dining, more evening options, scrumptious chocolates just around the corner, an urban forest, new broader sidewalks and streetlights and the anticipation of many exciting developments to come.
Obviously, long before I came here, Franklin was on a great trajectory, and I believe our future is also very bright. But, in this transition period, we have the cement, dirt, machinery, noise and glaring construction-orange of street crews with which we contend. The construction is but a means to an end, however, we must be careful to grow without destroying those who helped us to arrive where we are today.
A cornerstone of Franklin’s downtown revitalization was Imagination Station, our wonderful local toy store owned and managed by our Franklin neighbors since 2004. When this store opened, it created much-needed foot traffic and a multigenerational interest in our downtown. Kids and parents alike pop in the store to read, shop and play. (Yes, P-L-A-Y. You can actually touch the merchandise before you buy it there.)
Unfortunately, all is not well for our friendly neighborhood toy store. As they put it:
“B.C. Those were the good ol’ days for us: before construction. The greatest economic downturn of our lives was a piece of cake compared to the Main Street road construction of 2012-13. In the 11 months our road has been gone, we’ve consistently been down 40 percent in sales.”
Hidden behind massive machinery on a now streetless Main Street lies one of our landmarks. Have we forgotten Imagination Station? They are running out of time. So, they recently launched a 14-day campaign on Crowdtilt. They need $60,000 to help the store so they can pay off their late bills and buy the quality and educational toys for our kids that we have all come to expect from their amazing store. On Crowdtilt they cannot touch any donation unless enough people vote (i.e. donate) to reach their $60,000 goal and keep this business alive. I am unwilling to conceive of a Franklin without IMAGINATION. Are you?
They have currently raised $12,000, largely through individual donors. Forty-eight thousand dollars remains to be funded. To give this some perspective, our town has a population of approximately 24,000 citizens; if everyone gave $2, just $2, we could save this store. Please join the campaign to support local business and
#savethetoystore. There are few days left to choose what kind of Franklin we want for our kids and ourselves.
Vote for imagination.