Blue Bucks Winner Sharon Hoover with her bag of gift cards to local businesses! The gift cards were purchased with funding from Enterprise Bank & Trust to support the small businesses. Photo Courtesy Chamber of Commerce
Samizdat Bookstore & Teahouse owner Jill Lang is presented with a check donated by Blue Bucks winner Colleen Ollinger. Olinger, who won $250 in the Blue Bucks drawing, sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust, used to own the Otowi Station Bookstore and donated her winnings to Lang to show her support for Samizdat Bookstore, located at 174 Central Park Square. Photo Courtesy Chamber of Commerce
CHAMBER NEWS RELEASE
The holiday shopping season kicked off Nov. 26 in Los Alamos and White Rock with Small Business Saturday.
This year, a few lucky shoppers also won big in the Enterprise Bank & Trust Blue Bucks Raffle! The program is designed to incentivize shopping locally and offers shoppers a chance to win cash prizes and gift cards to participating businesses.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Blue Bucks Raffle promotion was organized by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and Los Alamos MainStreet and sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust. Blue Bucks raffle tickets were given out by participating businesses for any purchase up to $25 (first ticket), then one ticket for each additional $25 spent. Blue Bucks tickets were given out from Friday, November 25 through Saturday, December 10. There were almost 17,000 tickets returned for the raffle.
The grand prize winner of the drawing was Ward Rupprecht, who received the winning ticket while shopping at Little Studio on the Mesa in White Rock, who also won $1,000 for giving away the winning ticket.
The $500 winner was Father Theophan, who received his winning ticket at Metzger’s Do It Best Hardware.
The $250 winner was Colleen Olinger, who received her winning ticket from The Lobby Shop at Los Alamos Medical Center. Colleen, who used to own Otowi Station Bookstore in town, has announced that she is donating her entire winnings to Samizdat Bookstore & Teahouse to show her support for this new bookstore!
The drawing on Tuesday was also for five gift bags, each containing approximately $500 in gift certificates or merchandise from participating businesses. The winners are Carol Hoover, who shopped at Pet Pangaea; Barbara Evans, who shopped at Kokopilates; Samantha Griego, who shopped at Gaia Gifts at Boomerang Consignment; Thomas Martinez, who shopped at 420 TeaTime Dispensary & Lounge; and Tyson Cardon, who shopped at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market! These gift cards were purchased with funding from Enterprise Bank & Trust, to further support small businesses.
“I am so thankful for the support I have received from the community these past 6 months. Running a business is a 24/7 job, but the connections I have made, the customers who have become friends, and the space I am able to provide to the community makes it more than worth it,” said Joanne Kozuchowski, owner of Little Studio on the Mesa, which gave away the grand prize-winning ticket.
“I want to congratulate Ward Rupprecht and all the winners and say thank you to Enterprise Bank & Trust for their generosity, and the Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet for organizing this Small Business Saturday promotion. I look forward to a future here in White Rock and have some exciting plans in the works for 2023!”
Small Business Saturday is an annual celebration in conjunction with the national promotion started by American Express to support local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Started in Los Alamos in 2010 by Cyndi Wells, owner of Pet Pangaea, the event has grown over the years. In 2020 Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC) won a Bronze Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for the Small Business Saturday Blue Bucks Raffle Promotion in the “Innovative Programs and Initiatives” category.
“Thank you again to Enterprise Bank & Trust for sponsoring Small Business Saturday and the Blue Bucks promotion for the fifth year in a row,” said Ryn Herrmann, Director of the Chamber of Commerce. “Many of our local businesses let us know that Small Business Saturday truly helps their bottom line. So, thank you to all who participated in the Blue Bucks promotion. Supporting our small businesses and shopping local really does make a difference to our community.
The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is a program of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation; a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization serving the Los Alamos area since 1983. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, Los Alamos Creative District, Discover Los Alamos, Los Alamos Small Business Center, projectY cowork Los Alamos, Los Alamos Research Park, LEEP (Lab Embedded Entrepreneurial Program) and the Los Alamos Business Accelerator.