Helping the community

By Keith Strange

February 18, 2014

For one Mount Airy businessman, owning a business is not just about making money, but about helping the community as well.

Mayberry Toy Company hosted its first annual Winter Wonderland Coloring Contest recently, taking the first tentative steps that owner Paul Stroup hopes will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with community organizations throughout the area.

For the contest, Stroup worked with seven city and county elementary schools, receiving more than 1,000 entries from students in grades K-5.

The contest winners will each receive $10 gift certificates to Mayberry Toy Company.

“We’re going to be giving away 20 gift certificates spread across the schools and grade levels,” he said.

Stroup said the goal is to have a little fun while getting the word out that businesses can be community stewards as well.

“This contest was just something we wanted to do with the school systems and hope to be able to do more in the future,” he said. “We want to do more with the schools not only because kids are our target audience, but because this is a way to be involved with the community.”

Stroup said plans call for more community events.

“There are all kinds of groups like the Boy Scouts and sports teams who are looking for ways to raise money, and we’d like to expand on this first event and try to figure out ways to help them as well,” he said.

He credited the support of the school systems with making this initial contest a success.

“They were super cool to work with,” he said. “I delivered the entries to them and they distributed them to the different classes, and I went back and picked them up. I’d really like to thank them for their support and participation. They went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Standing in the store surrounded by the thousand or so entries, Stroup looked amazed.

“It was fun,” he said, noting the entries were judged by store staff. “There are some really cool entries here. It’s hard to choose.

“It’s certainly a great beginning to what we’re trying to do — help support our community.”

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.