On the evening of Friday, Dec. 2, McClintock Fountains shopping center will be bustling with live music and entertainment, accompanied by local restaurant samplings and a raffle to promote neighborhood businesses in south Tempe.
Developed by Dave and Christine Donaldson, owners of Donaldson Watch Repair, the event is being called a gift to the public for their continued support of local, family owned businesses.
Gemma Wilson and Chris Rockwell, of the center’s Ivy Boutique, are co-hosting.
“What prompted the event was Reactor (Watches), because we are a Reactor dealer—one of only a couple in the state,” Christine Donaldson said. “We centered it around that, and they’re bringing in a sports figure to get us some exposure.”
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, one of the celebrity guests who is sponsored by Reactor Watches, will be signing autographs during the event.
However, the main message goes beyond business exposure, say planners. Christine summed up the significance in terms of customer loyalty:
Support local, shop local and give local.
“We’re trying to keep these small businesses alive,” Christine said. “I think, to me, it just comes back to community, and it’s just so important that we all support each other.”
Wilson, of Ivy Boutique, said the event is for the customers, adding that she looks forward to the opportunity of mingling with her regular shoppers, as well as potential customers.
“I hope (this event) brings back the vibrancy that this center once had. We’ve lost some businesses in here recently over the past year,” Wilson said.
“Being out there with the customers is a big part of it, and I think that will help to bring our community together.”
The event will also feature a raffle with a variety of prizes from local businesses. Residents can bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to be donated to Cardon Children’s Medical Center and receive a raffle ticket.
“Out of that, we felt like it was a really great opportunity, with the holidays, to be able to do a toy drive for the center,” Wilson said. “When we started going that route, we started opening up to all the other little business in this center.”
Additionally, the event will feature food and beverage samplings provided by Great Harvest Bread Co., Honey Bear’s BBQ, Riga Tony’s, AZ Food Crafters and Four Peaks Brewing Company.
The free event gives local businesses a chance to meet with local residents, Dave added.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the community around here,” he said. “They really feel like they want to support the businesses here, and this is one way we can give back.”
Christine added that Donaldson’s Watch Repair has maintained a longtime customer base that includes many south Tempe residents who have become returning customers.
“I have a hard time remembering we live in this huge city, because it doesn’t feel like it,” Christine said.
“People really make it feel like we are individual, small towns, and we like that.”
The event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. McClintock Fountains is on the northeast corner of Warner Road and McClintock Drive, Tempe.