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Malls raise more than $1 million for disaster relief

By Staff
Special to The Star
CHATTANOOGA Bonita Lakes Mall and 51 other shopping centers owned and managed by CBL &Associates have raised more than $1.3 million for disaster relief efforts following the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.
Almost as suddenly as tragedy struck New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, mall owner and developer CBL &Associates Properties Inc. of Chattanooga launched fund-raising campaigns to assist American Red Cross relief efforts.
Fund raising will continue throughout October.
Initially, collection sites for the "Patriotic Pennies for the Red Cross" campaign were established in CBL's 52 enclosed malls across the country.
Funds collected will be used to help pay for medical supplies; housing and feeding fire and police crews; relocating displaced families; and in any other way the Red Cross deems appropriate.
Support for the fund-raising campaign has been so strong that relief efforts expanded to include partnerships with media sources and other local business establishments.
Events such as radiothons, banner signing drives, blood drives and food bank collection efforts were scheduled at CBL shopping centers. Patriotic ribbons, pins and flags were distributed in exchange for donations.
In Meridian, Bonita Lakes Mall and Clear Channel Radio Q101, Y-95, Oldies 97.5 and Kiss 104.1 hosted a banner signing Sept. 14. Two banners were displayed in the mall, letting people send a note to New York and the Pentagon.
Additionally, the American Red Cross was on hand to collect donations, which totaled more than $1,000. Shoppers contributed nearly $500 towards the fund-raising campaign; Bonita Lakes Mall matched them dollar-for-dollar.
A 10-day fund-raiser is currently being planned for October at Bonita Lakes Mall. All proceeds from the fund-raiser will again benefit disaster relief efforts.
More than a dozen Bonita Lakes retailers are currently assisting the national chapters of American Red Cross, United Way and Salvation Army through various fund-raisers.
The stores stores include Bookland, Electronics Boutique, Footlocker, Gadzooks, Hibbett Sports, Indianola Pecan, Kirkland's, McRae's, Metrocall, Radio Shack, Shoe Carnival, Sound Shop, Steak Escape, Time Out Amusement and Underground.
CBL &Associates Properties Inc. is one of the nation's largest shopping center development and management companies, with properties in 26 states. The company's portfolio includes 52 enclosed malls and more than 55.9 million square feet of retail space.