Fourteen shops in Hillsdale participated in a two-day “Girls’ Night Out” event to raise money for the Black Bear Project on Baw Beese Trail.
To raise money to “bring the Bears home,” the Heritage Association put on two events on Sept. 12 and 13, according to Event Coordinator Connie Sexton.
The first event was “Canvas Painting Night” at Toasted Mud. Throughout the eve- ning, attendees painted a canvas of jeans and high heels while being served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Rebecca Reinbolt, an employee at Toasted Mud, said that Toasted Mud does many fundraisers to help out.
“We helped out by being able to have the event here,” Reinbolt said. “Kind of trying to give back to the community any way we can.”
The second event was “Shop ‘til You Drop.” Rough Draft and Modern Revival set up live music and 14 business- es served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Both events were part of the Heritage Association fundraiser to erect statues of a mama bear and two cubs on the Baw Beese Trail, a path that stretches from Lake Bob- by’s to Jonesville.
“This fundraiser was the launch of their ‘Help us bring the Bears Home’ Campaign,” Sexton said in an email. “The association does not have the funds yet to bronze or bring them home.”
According to Sexton, the bears will be “a visual and interactive means of increasing education of indigenous species for the people of Hillsdale.”
Not only is it meant to raise awareness for wildlife, but its interactive quality will be a point of tourism and recreation.
“The Black Bears will be climbable for children and something with which they can interact,” Sexton explained. “The finished project will be located along the Baw Beese walking trail for the enjoyment of all walkers, runners, bikers, etc.”
Owner of Rough Draft Carly Hubbard ’16 said the Baw Beese Trail is a good place to put the bears.
“So many people use it,” she said. “I use it every day as I run with my dog. It’s kind of a cool place to put art.”
The statues were sculpted by co-founder of the Heritage Association, Heather Tritchka, and are currently being cast
at the Cleveland Foundry.
The Heritage Association now only needs enough to “bronze [and] bring them homes,” according to Sexton. The statues are scheduled to be unveiled the following spring.
Rough Draft was the final stop for the second event to help with the fundraising. Hubbard said local coffee shop works a lot with the Heritage Association and Studio 42.
“We’re just always happy to encourage all the fundraising efforts,” Hubbard said.
Throughout the night,they offered the ladies 50 cent cocktails and complimentary rosemary popcorn. If the ladies went to all the stops in the event, they were entered into a drawing at the end of the night for $200 worth of items.
“We did the drawing here at Rough Draft because the Heritage Association is right next door,” Hubbard said. “They could go see all the art there and also in here.”
She also said the event brought in a diverse age group from different parts of Hillsdale.
“I see them all individually, but it was kind of fun to see them all hanging out together as a girls’ night,” Hubbard said. “I just loved that every- one ended here and everyone was having a really fun time.”
Sexton agreed, saying that she enjoyed watching everyone else enjoy themselves.
“Weather was great, ambience was great,” she said. “Just wonderful to see and be part of Historic Downtown Hillsdale at its best.”