Telethon in Lynchburg meant to help downtown businesses through COVID-19 pandemic


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A 12-hour telethon will be streamed on Downtown Lynchburg Association’s YouTube channel on Thursday, which is meant to help replace the annual Get Downtown event, which had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

Reserve Tasting Room is about to open downtown.

“We are very excited to be a part of this Downtown-A-Thon and support other local businesses but also give us a chance to tell people who we are, what we’re doing,” said General Manager Megan Lawler.

The annual Get Downtown event would have brought tens of thousands of visitors down to learn about the new shop. Instead, the Reserve Tasting Room is one of many downtown businesses participating in the 12-hour telethon on Thursday, July 30, to get their name out there and raise money for the Downtown Lynchburg Association.

“Interviews with restaurant owners, we have some taste-alongs with some of our local breweries and wine tasting rooms,” said Susan Brown, the Association’s Program Director. “Music performances, something for everyone.”

The money raised will fund projects to help draw people to downtown businesses.

“Putting together some public art areas so that downtown is still a really attractive way to visit without maybe having so many events that bring everybody together physically in one location,” said Brown.

The program also helped fund a patio for customers to eat takeout meals, which has helped restaurants like The Water Dog these past few months.

“They’ve been a bit of a roller coaster,” said Water Dog owner Dave Henderson. “I’d say the last few months, we have I would say acclimated well to the changing environment, and we’ve had some really great customers.”

The Water Dog is also participating in the telethon.

“For any business,” Henderson said, “especially those small mom and pop shops like ours, any little bit helps.”

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