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Businesses Band Together to Help Burglarized Boutique

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Rochester: Businesses Band Together to Help Burglarized Boutique
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Some local small businesses are making a heartfelt investment to a South Wedge boutique, burglarized for the third time, two weeks ago. The theft was large enough to put them out of business, but thanks to the community's help, that won't be the case.

"This story is all about community and standing together and being a strong neighborhood."

Sandy Brazis and her partner have run their clothing boutique Thread in the South Wedge neighborhood for six years.

"This is our neighborhood; this is where our heart is."

But just two weeks ago, Brazis says they were left heartbroken after thieves broke into the store and stole nearly $20,000 worth of merchandise.

It was just before the biggest holiday shopping season of the year.

"It almost felt kinda like the Grinch that stole Christmas to be honest. All the product is gone, stuff that you work hard to get it in right before the holiday season."

But Brazis was quickly reminded of the spirit of the holiday season, as several local businesses stepped up to help them out.

"It's depressing to see greed take over and something like that happen to someone who is pushing so much. I think that is what really struck a chord with us," said Antonio Esteves.

Esteves owns Tiny Fish Printing, a local screen printing business. He donated t-shirts to help restock store shelves, and put together a website through Indiegogo to help raise money for Thread.

"Sandy and Mike have been down here in the South Wedge since there was a lot of empty buildings and just an open door to anyone that wants to come in and sell their stuff," he said.

So far, the website has raised more than $3,000.

"I think it just shows how much of a community staple Threads is and how it's almost like a community center for different artists and people that kinda come together and share their talents."

Brazis says money raised will go toward a new security system and help restore what was lost.

"This time of year, it's heartwarming. This is what the holiday is about and in 36 years I have never experienced anything like this and it's truly overwhelming."

A benefit is planned for Thread at the Henrietta bistro Lovin Cup at 7 p.m. on December 21st.

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