Image by Magic Creative from Pixabay


The ups and downs of everything associated with this pandemic are exhausting. Emotions seems to be scattered all over like someone dropped the container of sprinkles on the floor. Over here, we’re sad.  Sad for our Seniors. Sad for our teachers. Sad for everything we’ve all missed out on.

Then there’s the worry of small business owners.  Their shoulders carry a weight I cannot even fathom. It’s a crippling fear faced day in and day out for so many in Clear Lake and all of North Iowa.

Well, here’s a little something to put the wind back in your sails, to focus on the good pile of sprinkles.  For this ‘Feel Good Friday’ bit of news, I want to share how all of you lightened that heavy load for some local businesses.

First up, we found out Fareway Store’s Inc. partnered with local Chambers to donate $200,000 in gift cards throughout the state of Iowa. These cards were distributed to member businesses in our community.  The local Fareway staff put together this heartfelt video to share with you all. I suggest you grab a tissue because it will hit you in all the feels.

Check it out–>

As if that didn’t lift our spirits high enough, the team at the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce decided it was time for an extra pick-me-up. A boost to get us out of the dumps and back up to that feeling of hope and optimism.  Thus, we decided to run another round of the “Buy In Clear Lake” gift card promotion.

And you guys, the sponsors came POURING in.  Small businesses, large businesses. Even local residents stepped up to help.  With every call, email or text, our hearts began to swell.  Even as I write this, my eyes are a little misty.  I can’t help it.  I’m just so incredibly proud of this community!

All in all, the sponsors chipped in to cover the $10 difference on 1379 gift cards!  ONE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED, SEVENTY-NINE!!!!!

Incredible.  Amazing. Phenomenal.

Mostly, it’s just plain unreal.

The best part of the whole initiative was when the cards went live at 4PM on Thursday.  In a mere 34 minutes, you guys snatched them up, supporting local businesses in our community, and pumping another $41,370 directly into our economy.  Coupled with the first round we did back in March, that’s a total of $67,170!

I’m floored.  Simply floored by the outpouring of support in this initiative. In the way you all have stepped up to buy these gift cards and support our local shops and restaurants.  It might just be enough to keep your favorite place afloat until they are able to reopen their doors and fully function again.

Ups and downs are inevitable. They are going to ebb and flow daily. When you’re on a downslope, feeling sad and grieving all the things we’ve lost during this pandemic, come back to this blog and find yourself a bit of good.  Find that pile of sprinkles representing goodness, kindness, and hope.

And scatter them around like confetti!

Have a wonderful weekend, Clear Lakers.

We’ll see ya – at a socially acceptable distance – at the Lake!

**A Special Shout out THANK YOU goes to the following sponsors. The success of this program is all because of their generous donations!**

Terry & Anne Unsworth
David & Vickie Snyder
Clear Lake Bank & Trust
Chris White
First Citizens Bank
Larson’s Mercantile
Cabin Coffee Company
Clear Lake Evening Lions
Chad Harrison CPABetty Soukup
CLB&T Insurance and Financial Services
Farmers State Bank
Tricia McGrath
21st Century Women
MBT Bank
Don’s Auto Body
Don & Sandy Christ
Dave & Jacque WardBicycle, Blues, & BBQ
First Gabrielson Agency
Potter & Brant, PLC
Starboard Market
Dennis & Cerise SisselTim & Kelly Putnam
Landfill of North Iowa
Hugh Webb, Realtor
Tim & Kelli Augustine
Mike & Cathy Callanan
Mark & Deb Tesar
Author Rachel Smith
Bergland + Cram
Jerry & Tammy DenHartog
Snow Construction
PM Park & Tiki Bar
Allyson Hendricks, Realtor
Les & Alisa Kinseth
Athletico Physical Therapy
Trinity & Stacy Doughan
American Solutions for Business
Dan Nichols
Edward Jones – Tony Conroy
Twin Oaks Campground
The Cone (aka Sweet Spot)
Scribbins Family Dentistry
Katlyn & Izabella Hill
A_L Services (Lothar Meyer)
Paul Stevenson
Clear Lake Rotary
Steve & Sue Nicklaus
TQ Tech
Hall Realty
The Funky Zebras
Lisa Determan
Jennifer Larsen
Sherry Wharam, Pampered Chef
Kelly Gute
Sandy Rosser
McIntire Family
McDowell-Wiskus Family
Chuck & Sherry Schafer
Roger & Lee Walston