Pam and Don Hammond, who have owned Paddington Station in downtown Ashland for 21 years, are in New York City this weekend, accepting a national award for a series of events the store sponsored to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
"It is kind of a big deal; the equivalent of the Academy Awards for retailers," Pam Hammond said in an email to the Tidings.
Paddington Station, 125 E. Main St., is one of three national finalists in the Store Events category of the 2014 Gift and Decorative Accessories Retail Excellence Awards. The other finalists are Byer's Choice Gift Emporium of Chalfont, Pa., and Glee Gifts of Mansfield, Mass.
The Ashland store coordinated its events with other downtown businesses. Those events included "Talk Like a Pirate Day," "Knight of the Dragon Princess," "Four Leaf Pot o'Luck" and "Star Walker Presents May the 4th Be with You."
The store's owners, employees and various friends and relatives also created a patriotic entry for Ashland's Fourth of July Parade, with marchers dressed as, among other things, Uncle Sam and Rockettes-style dancers.
A holiday food-themed event included a fundraiser for local food pantries and brought in 1 ton of food and raised $400.
In a congratulatory note to the Hammonds, Caroline Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Gifts & Decorative Accessories, said," Your achievement is truly noteworthy. In these challenging times it's difficult enough just managing, let alone growing your business."