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Another View: Put your money where your heart is, and you could win

Another View
By: Tony Hazarian, Auburn Journal publisher
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We want your marked bills. If you were out of town last Friday, you might have missed a little contest we’ve put together to track how dollars flow through the Auburn economy. The contest, part of Think Auburn First week, was announced in our Auburn On Sale special section that was included with the July 2 issue of the Auburn Journal. Simply put, if you have a $1 bill in your possession with “Think Auburn First!” written on it, you could be the winner of $50 in cash from the Journal, or other prizes donated from local merchants. Here’s how it works: A few weeks ago, members of our sales staff took 50 $1 bills and spent them at stores, coffee shops, supermarkets and gift shops throughout the Auburn area. They ate lunch, bought greeting cards, sipped lattes … they even nibbled on homemade desserts, all on the Journal’s dime. “Spend this money, and spend it quickly,” I had told them. They didn’t hesitate. In fact, I almost got paper cuts from the bills yanked from my fingers. They all had a good time on the Journal’s limited expense account to prove a point: Money spent locally lubricates the small business machine that Auburn depends on to sustain itself. Dollars were spent in Old Town, Downtown, North Auburn, South Auburn, the Bowman area, along Highway 49 and on Bell Road. We cataloged each dollar’s serial number and noted the exact location where the transactions were made. And we wrote “Think Auburn First!” in red ink on the edges of each and every dollar bill. Now we want to know where they ended up. We know that some likely leaked out of the community, either in an afternoon bank deposit or in the pocket of a visitor who received the dollar in change. It’s also likely a resident received a dollar and spent it at stores in Roseville, Rocklin or other parts of Placer County. But we’re sure many of the bills stayed in the area, moving from business to business. A dollar spent at a Downtown coffee shop stayed in the register only a few minutes before it was given as change to another customer. That customer used that $1 at an Old Town restaurant the next day, and that $1 went home in change to another resident. If you have one of the specially-marked dollar bills in your possession, bring it to the Auburn Journal lobby, 1030 High St., during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) this week. When you do, and you share your name and information about where you received the dollar, you’ll be entered in a drawing for prizes provided by local merchants and Think Auburn First. As mentioned, the Journal will kick in $50 cash to one lucky winner. We’ll draw winners the following week, and we’ll share where the dollars began and ended their journey. So dig deep into your pocketbook. When you win, Auburn wins. Spend locally, impact globally A month ago, the Journal profiled efforts of the Gold Country Rotary Club to raise money for ShelterBox, an international program that sends lightweight, waterproof boxes to disaster-relief sites around the world. Each box contains a tent made for 10 people to live in for approximately six months. The boxes include necessities like blankets, sheets, a tool kit, a multi-fuel stove, a water purification system and a children’s pack containing coloring books and crayons. Each box costs $1,000. The club has worked with organizations, businesses and individuals to fund four boxes so far, and is in the final week to fund additional boxes from the “Community of Auburn.” If you would like to donate, you can drop off checks at the Auburn Journal or call Rotary organizers Alan Young, 823-5699, or Jeanette Bullock, 269-1077. Checks can be made out to ShelterBox USA, a 501(c) 3 organization. The deadline is Tuesday, July 13. In full disclosure, I’m a Gold Country Rotary member. But I also think this is worthwhile program, proving you can shop local and influence events — and people — around the world. ----------------------------- DOLLAR-TRACKING CONTEST What: Bring specially-marked $1 bills to the Auburn Journal lobby Where: 1030 High St., Auburn When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, July 9