Ill. community rallies to save treasured toy store
EDWARDSVILLE – Set off by a purple exterior that would make Barney the Dinosaur beam, the Once Upon a Toy store in Edwardsville always took pride in a hands-on attitude that encouraged children to pluck items off the shelves and give them a whirl in the aisles – all to their heart’s content.
The toy store has been treasured by many of the 24,000 residents of this college town outside St. Louis. And now, when the shop needs the biggest lift of its life, the community has rallied to the rescue.
As the store’s owners struggled with the economy in recent years, its bank lender wasn’t playing around. When it demanded this month that the business pay up $450,000 on its loan, owners Shawnta’ Ray and Rick Harmon grimly warned their customers by email that they would have to close the store and another one they run called LagoonaMagoo in the Missouri town of Clayton.
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