By Sheri Gourd
Community members should be on the lookout for gift-wrapped boxes in select locations, as they are a sign of the Shop Tahlequah promotion.
"A lot of new merchants are on board this year," said Heather Ruotolo, Tahlequah Daily Press multimedia account executive. "It has definitely grown. We went from 10 sponsors last year to 19 this year. It's been an awesome campaign for businesses."
Beginning Wednesday, those who choose to shop locally will have opportunities to win prizes and money.
This year, there will be three large cash prizes all Shop Tahlequah entrants will have a chance to win: $500, $1,500, and $3,000.
"It's a great way for sponsors to show their appreciation to customers who are willing to shop local," said Gary Jackson, Daily Press publisher. "It's an amazing promotion."
Participating sponsors giving away prizes are: Tahlequah Lumber, Yeti tumbler; Workman's, Pendleton blanket; Threadz Consignment, shopping spree; One Moore Time, $200 store credit and more; Vivid Salon & Boutique, gift bag; Newk's Eatery, $150 Grab N Go lunch for eight; Two Guns Leather, custom leather journal cover; NeoHealth, two $250 cash prizes; Felts Shoes, Ugg boots; Super Spray Car Wash, three months of unlimited washes; Kroner & Baer Pub, gift card; Tiger Sports Cards, replica sports jersey; K-9 Acres, $100 boarding pass; BCG Dispensary, CBD gift basket; 490 Creations, custom split monogram; and Meigs Jewelry, diamond pendant. The Daily Press will also be giving away a year's subscription.
Other participating locations where entries can be received are Junie's Closet, Rose Furniture, and Bryant's Daylight Donuts.
Shoppers will get one entry for each $20 spent, up to $1,000. Anything over that first $1,000 will be one entry for each additional $1,000. At Bryant's, one entry will be given for each dozen doughnuts purchased. Every patient seen at any NeoHealth clinic during the promotion will receive an entry.
"You might not go to Bryant's or Kroner & Baer for Christmas gifts, but you can go to make holiday memories," said Ruotolo. "If they want to sponsor the promotion because they feel it's good for the community, we're glad to have them."
Since tickets with numbers will not be given out, shoppers are asked to write their names and phone numbers legibly on the entry forms.
Merchants offering prizes will hold drawings at their individual locations live on the Tahlequah Daily Press Facebook page and on Lake's Country 102.1 on the morning of Friday, Dec. 20.
After all of the merchants' prizes are drawn, all entry slips - even prize winners - will be combined for the drawings for the cash prizes.
"Even if you don't hear or see the announcements, the winners will be called," said Ruotolo.
Winners will be able to pick up their prizes at the merchant's location who sponsored the drawing. The three grand cash prize checks will be available at the Tahlequah Daily Press.
"The important thing I've learned is that we should all spend our dollars locally," said Joe Mack, Daily Press multimedia account executive. "It does really impact their business and livelihood when we spend money here in town."
Mack said a lot of the merchants and members of the community are excited about Shop Tahlequah this year, and he had fun last year doing the in-store drawings.
"I really love being involved in a project like this that has nothing but positive outcomes and results, both for the participating sponsors and all the people who participate by shopping at those places," said Mack. "It's neat to have a hand in giving a little extra to people. It fills me up with the Christmas spirit."
It's not too late for businesses to become sponsors. Call the Daily Press at 918-456-8833 during regular office hours, and ask for Heather or Joe. And look for reminders on the Tahlequah Daily Press social media accounts, as well as the #ShopTahlequah hashtag.