BY: RACHEL WUMKES
There’s probably not an actual record book for keeping track of all the awesomeness of one town, but there should be. If said record book was an actual thing, at the very top in bright, bold letters it would read: CLEAR LAKE!
With the roll out of the “Buy-In Clear Lake” program last week, it was hard to know how the public would react.
It started as a random conversation about how we could possibly get money into our businesses now. And quickly. A way to give them a boost considering many places had to close their doors and shut down operations completely for a while.
It was decided that for $20, you could purchase a $30 gift card to any place of business in Clear Lake. Business owners, and even individuals, stepped up to the place to cover the $10 difference.
In the first session, 220 cards flew out of our hands so quickly, many of our local residents didn’t even get a chance to get online and purchase one. I was in the process of texting my girlfriends to let them know they should get online and take advantage of this awesome deal, when I blinked, and they were all sold out.
But that wasn’t the end. No way. Not for us. Not for this amazing community.
By the middle of the very next day, donations had poured in from more businesses and even individuals, allowing us to offer the promotion again – this time with 640 gift cards available.
I thought to myself… this one might take a while!
It did not. In only 12 minutes, every single gift card had been purchased and we were, once again, sold out. My little Clear Lake heart about exploded inside my chest. What a community we live in?!
In a matter of only 2 days, we were able to influx $25,800 into the Clear Lake economy.
Thank you to the following businesses and individuals who contributed. You guys are rock stars!
Here are the sponsors:
- ATURA architecture
- Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company
- MBT Bank
- CL Tel
- Fareway Stores
- Farmers State Bank
- First Citizens Bank
- Alice Hanley
- KISS Country 98.7FM
- First Gabrielson Agency
- Pritchard's Lake Chevrolet
- The Staff at Edward Brandt Insurance
- Jenny & Bob Kopriva, Lakeside Brokers
- Bob's Marine, Inc
- The Funky Zebras Clear Lake
- Stephany Insurance
- Clear Lake Realty LLC
- Eva Marie's Home & Gift
- Dura Dock
- American Solutions for Business: Heather Rausch & Carrie Tysdahl
- Dodie and Alan Wilkins
- Stellar Truck & Trailer
- My Fair Trade
- Diana Symonds
- Helps Drain and Septic Services
- The Red Geranium
- The General Store
- Dale Ludwig
I can’t even… there’s just no words to explain the incredible impact that amount of money has on a community like ours.
And then, the phone began to ring. Computers dinged incessantly as notification after notification came through. Other Chambers were interested. Ames, Lake Mills, Forest City and Clarion have already implemented the program in their communities. Cedar Valley is gearing up to start theirs soon. Stacy has fielded phone calls from over 10 other Chambers asking about the program, including one in Texas and one in Illinois!
We’ve started something here, folks. Something big.
When the day arrives where our social distancing ban is lifted and we can, once again, live freely and roam about as we please, just think how AMAZING it’s going to feel to go out and use those gift cards. To gather with friends, with family, maybe even random strangers.
It’s going to be awesome.
But until then, please continue to order out from your favorite local restaurants, have beer delivered from your local brewery, and order online or purchase gift cards from any local retail stores possible. From the looks of things, we might be stuck at home for a bit longer.
Hang in there, Clear Lakers. And thanks for being so incredibly awesome in sustaining our little lake town during these tough, scary times!
See ya – at a socially acceptable distance – at the Lake!