WILMINGTON — The Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce capped off its 10th annual $25 Days of Christmas this year by giving $500 to Brandi Denniston.
Brandi was one of eight lucky shoppers to receive cash prizes from entries collected between Nov.23 and Dec. 14 — Donna Burnett, Rana Evans, Cheryl Fisher, Emily Lawson, Sara Long, Robin Massie, and Kelly Williams also received cash prizes.
“We’re so pleased with the enduring success of this promotion,” said Dessie Rogers, Chamber Executive Director. “With 31 collection points, 52 participating businesses, and 4,232 entries, this promotion continues to have a significant positive economic impact on our local community.”
Beginning on Black Friday, shoppers at participating local businesses were given an entry slip for each $25 they spent, up to $100. That translates to a minimum of $105,800 spent in those businesses in just three weeks.
Rogers noted, “The really important factor is that 68 percent of money that we spend locally goes back into the local economy, so we’re talking about a total economic impact of $177,744 just since Thanksgiving!”
The $25 Days of Christmas, which began as a part of the Buy Local First campaign a decade ago, is designed to encourage local shopping during the holiday season by providing a little extra incentive to shoppers, who are eligible for cash prizes and gifts.
This year’s lucky gift-winning shoppers included Julie Bollinger, Dave Bowling, Bunny Bradshaw, Scott Bradshaw, Melissa Caskey, Linda Castle, DeeAnn Clark, Patty Day, Priscilla Doan, Chuck Glass, Rachele Green, Beverly Haynes, Mallory Helterbran, Cynthia Horace, Abraham Jacobyanshy, Joey Johnson, Tracy Keller, Kristine Klink, Kathy Linkhart, John Matos, Crystal McCallister, Liz McCallister, Nancy McCormick, Diana McKay, Teresa Moberly, Mariana Moye, Jahwvan Nelson, Tiphanie Portman, Brenda Scanlon, Karen Shadowens, Mary Ellen Smalley, Janine Sodini, Bill Stidham, Marianna Stone, Kelli Veidt, Kristi Watkins, Cheryl Webb and Sheila Williams.
In addition to the weekly drawings, Rogers and Ruth Brindle, Chamber Marketing & Communications Director, gave out $500 in cash to shoppers at local businesses on Friday, Dec. 14.
Cliff was shopping at BDK Feed and Supply, Crystal was shopping at Shoe Sensation, Tim was shopping at Rome Jewelers, Sharon was shopping at the Clinton Memorial Hospital Gift Shop, and Mariah was having lunch at Sam’s Meats when the Local First elves showed up to brighten their day.
“It was so much fun to surprise people with a little extra holiday love this way,” said Brindle. “Between handing out cash on Friday and calling people after each of the drawings, I really felt like Santa’s helper, knowing the impact the prizes will have on some local families.”
The program relies on the participation and generosity of local businesses who not only agree to serve as collection points, but also donate cash and merchandise.
This year’s participating businesses were: Alma’s Attic, Anytime Fitness, Anytime Laundry, BDK Feed and Supply, Beauty Bar Salon & Spa, Brown Funeral Home, Bush Auto Place, Caesar Creek Flea Market, Carrie Zeigler State Farm Insurance, Cherokee Language Tutor, Clinton Memorial Hospital Gift Shop, Croghan Auto Care, Curless Printing Company, The Cutting Room, Day Six Animal Massage, Donatos Pizza, Everyday Chic Boutique, First State Bank, For A Song & A Story, The General Denver Hotel, Glass Roots Studio, Greater Tomorrow Health, Groves Tire & Service, Hers and His Thrift Store, Kratzers Hometown Pharmacy, Laney Cakes Bakery, Main Street Yoga, The Murphy Theatre, NJC Salon, Peelle Law Offices, Peoples Bank, Quali-Tee Design Sportswear, Rome Jewelers, Sam’s Meats & Deli, Shoelaces Catering, Shoppes at the Old Mill / Home Again II, Smith-Feike-Minton Insurance, South Street Wine Cellar, Strength & Dignity Boutique, Style Me Pretty Boutique, Wilmington Ace Hardware, Wilmington Court Apartments, Wilmington Savings Bank, Windy Acres Country Store, and The Wooden Moose.