It may seem less refined than Valentine's Day or even Halloween, but Corning businesses are making the most of Thomas Crapper Day. Our Kaitlyn Lionti tells us how they're using this unique celebration to help out a good cause.
CORNING, N.Y. -- It's in a tub of coffee beans, on a jewelry display case and even on a restaurant counter. This much toilet paper can only mean one thing: it's Thomas Crapper Day.
Corning businesses are celebrating the man often credited with inventing the toilet.
"He didn't actually, historically, do that, but it's just too good a day and too fun a day to pass up," said Pam Weachock, owner of Market Street Coffee and Tea.
Crapper was actually a famous plumber who helped re-invent the John. His catchy name has inspired people to collect toilet paper for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. And the tribute to the latrine has definitely caught some people by surprise.
"The initial reaction is, 'Why is there a big, giant picture of a toilet on the sign?'" said Sarah Blagg, a sales assistant at Connors Mercantile.
"I think it catches people off guard at first, but when they realize it's just for fun and goes for a good cause, then they're all about it," said Tom Dvorak, owner of Dvorak Jewelers.
And donations were rolling in, in exchange for discounts or giveaways.
"This is a good way of giving to charity and get a cup of coffee at the same time," said Jan Kostolansky, a Corning resident who contributed to the cause.
Just because Crapper Day only happens once a year doesn't mean the fundraising efforts will be flushed away. This is the first of many events the businesses have planned to support local organizations.
"We're planning on having one mini-fundraiser every month. They'll be all different and for all different local charities, so we want to give back to our community," said Weachock.
"It brings people into my store, hopefully they'll shop and also it helps whatever charity we're promoting at the time," said Donna Grzesik, owner of Pip's Creative Wear.
Next month's fundraiser is called "Small Businesses have Big Hearts" to benefit Heart to Heart, a local foundation for children and families.