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Hearts for Heroes honors frontline workers

Chamber campaign also recognizes Valentine’s Day for Berlin businesses

By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer

(Feb. 11, 2021) The Berlin Chamber of Commerce launched a Hearts for Heroes campaign to honor local heroes such as healthcare workers, teachers, grocery store clerks, firefighters, police, EMTs, food service and retail workers.

The window of a former beauty salon next to Gilbert’s Provisions on North Main Street features “heartwork” from a Berlin Immediate School student for the Hearts for Heroes campaign. The space is expected to reopen as a gift shop in the spring.

“When my wife and I owned Victorian Charm, we, of course, did a big promotion at the weekend of President’s Day and Valentine’s Day. They fall together,” said Steve Frene, deputy director of the chamber. “Typically, we’d see visitors come into the area. So, after we left Victorian Charm and I started working at the chamber, I wanted to do a promotion around that, where all the businesses could participate.”

Frene was inspired to tie the holidays together for an event.

“I thought about the heart representing our heroes and someone we love and support,” he said. “The other side of the weekend is, of course, President’s Day and you think about patriotism and … fire, police, doctors and the people that are out there putting it out on the line for everybody every day during covid. I thought about a way to merge that would be a ‘Hearts for Heroes’ campaign.”

Local businesses put heart decorations in their windows and around their workplace as a show of support from Valentines’ Day to Presidents Day, Friday through Monday.

Red ribbons have been attached to lampposts downtown as well.

Berlin Intermediate School students also provided colorful “heartwork” for businesses to use as decorations along with the official Hearts for Heroes poster. Frene is also taking some “heartwork” to the Atlantic General Hospital and the Berlin Police Department.

In addition, businesses and restaurants will have special offers between Friday and Sunday to thank people for shopping locally.

“We are not limiting the discounts and offers to just [essential workers],” Frene said. “We have taken it one step further and we say all customers are essential, and we want to show them love.”

Pop’s Kitchen on Gay Street will offer a small cheese pizza (toppings are extra, a quart of soup and a garden salad for $20.95. The Treasure Chest at 20 N. Main St. will offer 20 to 50 percent off jewelry, while Beach Memories at 106 N. Main St. will give away free bracelets to the first 25 shoppers.

Victorian Charm at 100 N. Main St. will give away cash with a $40 purchase, while Heart of Gold Kids at 27 N. Main St. will offer 50 percent off fall and winter apparel.

Bruder Home on Main Street will have 50 percent off select items and

Bruder Hill on Commerce Street will have large discounts and $15 sale racks.

Patty Jean’s Boutique at 110 N. Main St. as well as East and Main Shore Supply and Apparel at 17 N. Main St. will have 20 percent off new arrivals and 70 percent off winter clothing.

Beach Gypsy will also offer 25 percent off its Valentine’s Day collection and self-care items this weekend. The Hearts for Heroes special is a free pink cheetah print tote with a $50 purchase.

Additionally, Atlantic Hotel at 2 N. Main St. will offer food and drink specials, while Island Creamery at 120 N. Main St. will be open with birthday cakes, quarts, pints and bags of waffle cone chips to go.

Frene has facilitated group advertising in Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today for the campaign to divide

The Berlin Welcome Center on South Main Street will provide grab-and-go valentines for children this weekend as part of the Hearts for Heroes campaign.

the expense. Burley Oak Brewing Company, Viking Tree, The Globe, Fathom, Beach Memories, The Treasure Chest, Bruder Hill, Bruder Home, Victorian Charm, Heart of Gold Kids, Una Bella Salute, Life’s Simple Pleasures, Patty Jean’s Boutique and Beach Gypsy contributed $50 for an advertising share.

The Hearts for Heroes campaign is sponsored by the Bank of Ocean City, First Shore Federal and Taylor Bank.

Through the sponsorships, Cupid and Uncle Sam are able to hand out free money with a presidential trivia contest on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Frene said it will take place rain, snow or shine.

Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, added that grab-and-go valentines will be available for children in the foyer of the Berlin Welcome Center at 14 S. Main St. this weekend.