We Buy Nearby-Shop for a Cause promotes shopping local for the benefit of non-profits

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By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s downtown retailers are continuously trying to attract shoppers to Blackhawk Avenue. Especially with Christmas coming, and Halloween now over, a new event aims to help four local non-profits, while also getting people downtown to buy merchandise.

We Buy Nearby-Shop for a Cause is a downtown promotion involving 13 main street merchants, Thursday, Nov. 9 through Saturday, Nov. 11. Customers can shop at the stores and, with each transaction, choose one of four organizations to receive a percentage of their purchase. Each retailer has selected a different discount, or percentage, to donate per sale; most range from 5 to 15 percent.

Non-profit entities benefitting from the donations will include Prairie du Chien Public Schools, the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library, Crossing Rivers Health Hospice and Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter.
Businesses participating and their percentages include:

•1 percent—Rockweiler’s Appliance Center, 1 percent plus storewide sale prices, Friday and Saturday only;

•15 percent—The Local Oven, giftware items only; The Pickett Fence, including huge sample sale; Front Porch Quilts, storewide;

•10 percent—Broken Ladder, storewide; Sports World, excluding shoes sale priced every day; Wall Street, excludes half-price sales; Planted Tree, one department only; Something for Everyone, storewide; Radio Shack, excluding cell phones;

•5 percent—Panka’s Shoe Store, storewide; Kemble’s Greenhouse, excludes fresh flowers, greenery wreaths and roping; JC Party Store, storewide.

“We feel this promotion is a good way for the downtown to give to these organizations,” said Lou Davis, The Pickett Fence owner and We Shop Nearby co-organizer. “It’s a ‘shop local’ opportunity. But this way, if people shop these three days, they’re helping a local non-profit too. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Customers can feel good shopping Nov. 9-11, knowing they’re also helping to support the organization of their choice. They simply need to designate which of the four they choose at the cash register. The business will then send each charity a donation check after the event.  

Assisting Lou with planning for this promotion, Greg Cerven, The Local Oven owner, added, “We want our customers to know we’re involved in the community and are supporting the community organizations which are trying to do good in this community.”

Davis and Cerven said the four organizations benefitting from this promotion were chosen because they have a good community following and a project in the works.

“We thought maybe we could help them reach their goals,” Davis stated. “Next time, we’d like to open this up to restaurants downtown too. We would also like to get the chamber involved eventually and add as many places as possible.”

Each of the four beneficiaries have been given the list of participating merchants to promote the event within their organizations.

“The more people they encourage to come shop, the more funds they can receive,” Davis said.

The We Buy Nearby-Shop for a Cause promotion was an idea adopted and modified from Grand Rapids, Mich., where a Shop for Schools campaign grew from a local event into a statewide affair.

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