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Community store closing in on fundraising goal

SARANAC LAKE - A recent surge in fundraising has a local effort to open a community-owned retail store tantalizingly close to its goal.

Last week, the Interim Board for the Saranac Lake Community Store announced it's surpassed the $400,000 mark for total shares. The group needs $500,000.

Melinda Little is president of the board. She said Oct. 27 that the group currently has $400,500 in hand and needs $95,500 more by the offering deadline of Dec. 17.

Little said volunteers aren't concerned about raising the remaining funds.

"Over the last five weeks, we've brought in close to $40,000," she said. "The momentum has been reinvigorated. That seems to be continuing, and meanwhile, behind the scenes, we're trying to figure out the next steps in terms of other sources we can tap into."

According to Little, the Community Store can apply for an extension to the share offering if it can't reach the $500,000 goal by Dec. 17. But the organization isn't using that as an excuse to let off the gas.

"We're going to push as hard as we can to reach the goal by that date, because we're all anxious to get the store open," Little said. "Quite frankly, though, if we don't get there, I'm sure we'll be quite a bit further by then in any case and we'll look to extend if we need to."

In order to extend the share-offering deadline, the Community Store must apply for an extension with the New York State Attorney General's office.

The group has applied for the extension every six months since fundraising efforts kicked off in July 2007.

For some, fundraising gets easier toward the end of a drive. Major donors often make their pledge when deadlines are looming. But because the Community Store is essentially community-owned, shareholders may only purchase up to $10,000 and must live in New York State.

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