CONWAY — The Horry County Salvation Army is moving its family store and social services office from their current location on Fourth Avenue to a smaller space at 1029 Third Ave. and is gearing up for a grand opening Thursday.
Laurie Suprano, the Army’s family stores operation director, said the new store is aiming for a boutique feel with more upscale items, including new and second-hand name brand clothing and higher-end furniture. All are donated items, she said.
“We’ve had to be more creative,” she said of the new merchandising where the Army aims to make more money than it did in the old location.
Suprano said the agency is downsizing to save money.
Times have been tough for charities of all stripes.
“People that used to not think twice about donating things are repurposing them or trying to get some money from them,” Suprano said.
Unlike in the old store, Suprano said all clothing at the new location will be hung according to size, which will help buyers make their selections.
The new store will also have a children and teen section and year-round Christmas item sales by a fireplace.
The grand opening is set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, and the store will be open until 8 p.m. that day because of the monthly Conway Downtown Alive events that evening. Normal hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
The Horry County Salvation Army has other family stores in Loris, North Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet.
City of readers
Conway councilwoman Barbara Blain-Olds wants Conway in the worldwide record book and said she’s got exactly the event to do it.
She wants to gather enough people in Riverfront Park who are simultaneously reading the same thing to be dubbed at the top of the list by the Guinness Book of World Records.
She said she doesn’t know if there is yet such a category, but she feels that an event such as a mass read-in would help to brand Conway in a new way. The reading would have to be out loud. The judges from Guinness couldn’t determine if people were really reading if everyone was doing it silently, Blain-Olds pointed out.
“It would be wonderful if this town became known for something semi-intellectual, or even intellectual,” she said.
Blain-Olds said her love of reading started in childhood, and she’s still the type of person who gets off on the smell and feel of a real book in preference to type on a computer screen.
“In my youth,” she said, “to get a new book from Piggly Wiggly on a Saturday was really a treat.”
Right now, her three jobs have cut her reading frequency to sporadic, but when she has the time, she likes everything from autobiographies to fantasies. The latter, she said, “make you dream.”
Blain-Olds said she was inspired to think out of the box about a way to make Conway unique by a session at a recent convention of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
At first, she said, she thought of breaking the current mark for continuous reading. But when she learned it was several days, she thought something else would be more practical.
She said that the simultaneous reading could be an annual event that she believes would build in attendance over time. She said the city could find logical partners in schools, colleges, libraries and nonprofits.
Blain-Olds got no grief on her proposal when she brought it up at a recent City Council meeting. She’s also talked with friends about it.
Early to mid-November, she said.
Not too hot, not too cold.
Just right for an afternoon in a park with a good book.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.