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Girlfriends Walk wins Main Street award

March 09, 2011 - One of downtown Oxford's newest and most popular events received some positive recognition last week.

The Girlfriends Walk – a combination charitable event and downtown promotion – received the Outstanding Retail Event Award at Main Street Oakland County's "Main Event" celebration, held Friday evening at Glen Oaks Golf Club in Farmington Hills.

"We're over-the-moon happy that Main Street recognized this as being as special as we thought it was," said Anna Taylor, who spearheaded the local event and owns downtown's Pink & Charlie. "It's different than anything any of the other communities have ever put on."

Two Girlfriends Walk events were held last year, attracting a combined 550-600 visitors to the downtown area and generating tons of donations for two local nonprofits – Women's Career Dress, a Lighthouse of Oakland County program, and Love INC of North Oakland County, a charity involving a group of area churches.

"It was very, very successful, and we hope it grows and becomes even bigger," Taylor said. "It gets people from outside of our community to come and enjoy all the different things that we have to offer."

Taylor said the event also "gives people a sense of community" because "a charity is the core of the event."

Taylor noted receiving this award "means we have something very special in Oxford," particularly among downtown's female business owners, who made the Girlfriends Walk events possible.

Participating businesses included Pink & Charlie, Victoria's Delights, Chic Antiques, Ella Fashion, A Familiar Taste, Soothe Your Soul, The Tan Company, Sweet & Savory Bake Shop and Beadifferent.

"It's definitely gotten a lot of buzz because it has been so successful," Taylor said. "People have called me from different states to ask me how to do this."

The next Girlfriends Walk is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15.

"We have some ideas, but we have not chosen our charity yet," Taylor said.

The Main Street award Oxford received last week was one of 27 presented to 17 recipients in five categories – organization, promotion, design, economic restructuring and special recognition.

Oxford's neighboring Main Street communities of Ortonville and Lake Orion garnered four and three awards, respectively.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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