ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Kate Fortney Thorne owns two stores in Rocky River: Lovely Paperie & Gifts, and Babycakes. She is among many local business owners who are fearful of the impact COVID-19 will have on their stores.
But with Easter approaching next week, Fortney Thorne can think of nothing else than to put a smile on the faces of local children who were expecting to meet the Easter Bunny in person this year.
"Kids come in for the Easter bunny and Santa Claus every year, and it's one of our traditional events that we always hostm: Fortney Thorne said. "We've been getting messages from so many parents that are like, 'We're so upset. We've been preparing our kids for the Easter bunny.' So we came up with this idea that we're like, 'Okay, well they can't come and sit on the Bunny's lap, but we can still bring this little bit of joy to them by driving around and showing them the bunny is still coming.'"
So on Saturday morning, a caravan of cars honked up and down the streets of Rocky River, as waiting children waved with glee at the Easter Bunny. Fortney Thorne had posted on social media the day before, announcing the route.
It's been a tough road for her two businesses, but she's determined to power through, working hard from home on online orders. More than anything, she aims to bring happiness to those who are struggling.
"I would say during this whole pandemic, our goal has been to bring a little bit of joy to people in the community. So we've been doing all kinds of things at the store," she said. "We've done giveaways on our Instagram and we created stay-at-home boxes that people can send friends and family to like make them smile, so that's been our goal.
"There's so much negativity, and there's so much that people are focusing on that you can't control. And so, what can we do to make it a good thing ... make their day a little bit better?"
To help support Local Paperie & Gifts, and Babycakes Children's Boutique, click HERE.