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Ferris: Get back to the basics this spring

Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

I don’t know about anyone else, but ever since the Expo Committee decided to raffle a fabulous Weber Grill at the Health, Home & Business Expo, I have had a burning fever for spring! Bring on everything that reminds me of warmer, sunshiny days. The sight of people walking hand in hand down the sidewalks, the smell in the air, and upbeat rhythm in their step, I welcome it all!

Make plans early this year to get involved with the events your community holds and the businesses that offer their services and products to you. I suggest you rediscover the place you call home and be reintroduced to an idea called 3/50 Project.

The 3/50 Project is getting “back to the basics” and saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.

Think of 3. Think about which three independently owned businesses you’d miss most if they were gone. Stop in and say hello. Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.

Then, think of 50. If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each per month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Imagine the positive impact if three-quarters of the employed population did that. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

Now think 1, the number of people it takes to start the trend – you.

* * *

Getting cabin fever yet? This is about the time it starts. Blue, blue skies, longer daylight hours, and warmer temperatures. Thinking about how nice it would be to be out on the golf course in the sunshine to relax for a few hours on the green grass, a white ball and a club in your hand? Well, let the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce- get that ball in motion! We are gearing up for one of the most fun-filled fundraising, business-exposing reprieves of the spring – the annual Golf Outing!

This year, Twin Lakes Country Club, our proud host, is adding excitement to our event. I have been working with Chad Cantwell, the TLCC pro, and we have added couple of “par for the course” fundraising efforts to the venue. One is going to be a mystery for a bit, but let’s hear a big golf clap for the Chopper Ball Drop! We are going to sell 250 raffle tickets at $10 each. Two hundred fifty golf balls will be numbered, put in a bin, and dropped from a helicopter onto the green. The ball that lands in or the closest to the hole wins $1,000! How cool is that? With your help and the success of this fundraiser, the chamber will have a good start on the funds for the Richmond Burton Scholarship Awards. That is a great way to begin the year.

For a complete list of events and networking available through the RSG Chamber, please contact us at 815-678-7742 or visit our website at www.rsgchamber.com

• Laura Ferris is executive director of the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce.

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