Weekend Whitney Welcome party draws attention to RoBo businesses

This article was published at TheWhitOnline.com on Sept. 9, 2013.

Glassboro residents and Rowan students convened on the Whitney Center’s deck to celebrate its up-and-coming stores on Rowan Boulevard with the Whitney Welcome on Deck event.

Coordinated by Nina and Gary Reses, the owners of the Whitney Center store Forever Young Emporium, the event aimed to bring attention to some of the newly-opened businesses this year, like YoGo Factory and Rye’s @ Rowan, and to draw in the Glassboro and Rowan communities.

The Saturday, Sept. 7 event acknowledged the many years of planning and construction that went into the businesses that have filled up the first floor of the Whitney Center. To all the business owners, the preparation and development has finally paid off as the stores officially flip their signs to “open.”

“It’s a party because we’re finally open and other stores are open and the students are back now,” Gary Reses said. “So this will be the first season when most of the Whitney [Center] will be open and rocking all year and we’re really excited. So this is kind of a grand opening party for everyone.”

Some of the other businesses that were a part of the event were PRIME Burger, Sun National Bank and Green Zebra, which offered free banana whip samples to give people a little taste of their business.

“With more businesses opening, it’s going to be great for everyone involved, the students and the community and us business owners,” said Green Zebra owner Cory Gardener-Meeks.

Along with free samples, guests of the event were able to enjoy back massages offered by Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa and entertainment for the crowd such as live music from Gary’s band The Blind Squirrels, deck games, tarot card readings, a dancing blue bear and hula hoops decorated by Gary’s wife and Forever Young Emporium owner Nina Reses.

Playing with the hula hoops was junior psychology major Tyler Dabney, who said that the locale of Whitney Center businesses is convenient to students.

“I think this is really cool,” Dabney said about the Whitney Center. “I like being able to walk over here.”

Besides students, the event brought some local residents out to the deck, too.

Glassboro resident Donna Laning viewed the event as a good opportunity to see the growing businesses in the area and experience for herself how Rowan is beginning to be a part of the town she calls home.

“I think that this is a remarkable start for the school and for Glassboro,” Laning said. “It’s a very welcome change.”

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