Radiothon raises more than $250K for businesses

Saturday’s radiothon to support local businesses sold out of gift cards in only four hours — not the two-day effort originally planned.

“Talk about this community being rock solid,” Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere emailed after the event.  “Thanks for Sharing the Luv.”

Nearly 170 Rock County businesses participated in the promotion that encourages customers to buy gift cards now to use any time in the future when stay-at-home orders are lifted.

“It’s a way to drive people to our local businesses,” Lanphere said. “I don’t want people shopping on Amazon or in Sioux Falls. I want them to shop here.”

As part of the campaign, the local partners created the “Share the Luv Fund” to kick in extra money for gift card shoppers to go to businesses.

For every $100 in gift cards purchased, the customer gets $25 extra. The buyer gets $50 extra for each $200 purchased, $75 extra for a $300 purchase, $100 extra for each $400, and $125 extra for every $500 in gift cards purchased until the “Share the LUV” fund is gone.

That happened in the first four hours of the two-day campaign resulting in total gift card sales of $253,000.

“Special thanks to our partners who made this possible — K101 & KQAD and the Rock County Star Herald and Announcer. And it wouldn’t have happened without the support of our generous sponsors.”

Ahead of the radiothon, local donors provided $45,000 in matching funds to put $225,000 in the pockets of local businesses.

“Believe it or not – we blew through that $45,000 like it was water,” Lanphere said Saturday.

“When we tallied up, we were about $6,000 short. We ended up working with the city to cover the over expenditure. We never thought we would go through funds that quickly.”

In her mass email, Lanphere reflected on the day Saturday.

“So here we are – at the end of an outstanding day of investing, supporting, giving and promoting this wonderful community where we ‘Love the Life.’”

She thanked the phone volunteers and others who worked on the campaign.

“It takes a tremendous team of people to make a community like Luverne and Rock County successful.”

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