By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Christmas is just around the corner. As scary as that sounds, the annual Candy Cane Cash is beginning with Enid merchants.
This is the 10th year for the promotion, which has been embraced by Enid merchants and shoppers alike. Shoppers will begin receiving tickets Monday.
“We’re very excited each year to be able to grow,” said April Danahy, one of the founders of the promotion. “It helps cash registers to ring in Enid.”
This year there will be an additional $5,000 to distribute, thanks to the Enid Regional Development Alliance. The annual drawing will give away $15,000 cash, rather than the $10,000 that has distributed the past two years.
“We’ve been listening to what merchants are saying and the shoppers are saying,” Danahy said. “They all said they wanted it to continue to grow and we were able to find a partner who agreed.”
The first two years the cash give-away was $5,000, then rose to $6,500, up to $8,000, then to $10,000 before increasing to $15,000 this year, she said.
Shoppers who buy from participating merchants receive a ticket for every $10 spent. Those tickets go into the hopper, making the shopper eligible for the drawing on Dec. 14 on the Garfield County Court House lawn. Shoppers can get up to 40 tickets per purchase and they all go in the hopper. If the shopper is present when his ticket is drawn, he or she will win one of the cash prizes given away. Prizes start at $500 and go up to $7,500.
Jeff Funk, publisher of the Enid News & Eagle, a partner with Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce in Candy Cane Cash, said the promotion is good for Enid.
“This is a great promotion that truly shows the impact of shopping in Enid,” Funk said. “When it’s time for the cash drawing, it’s impressive to realize that every one of those hundreds of thousands of tickets rolling through the hopper represents dollars spent at a participating Enid business.
“Shoppers are winners, certainly, but participating merchants also win because of the increased traffic during the critical holiday season.”
Frank Baker, director of Eagle Marketing, said he is impressed by the length of time the promotion has been popular.
“What impresses me is the legs the promotion has,” he said. “A lot of promotions have rather a truncated shelf life, but this bad boy is still going after a decade.”
This year the ERDA board saw the worth of the promotion and committed to providing $5,000. There were between 6,000 and 7,000 people at last year’s drawing.
“If people think through what spending locally can do for the city, the schools and being able to fix the streets ... it gets people to spend locally,” Baker said. “It gets people to do the right thing, and this has become a big family festival.”
Pam Metscher, News & Eagle retail advertising manager, said there are 46 participating merchants.
Garfield Furniture’s Russ Frazee said Candy Cane Cash is “monumental” for his business.
“We were one of the first to get on years ago,” he said. “It draws people in ... and we see them attending the drawing to see who wins.”
The promotion brings people into the store and they shop around.
“When you make a furniture purchase you get a big slew of those tickets. We tell people about it, and people who come in ask about it, and it’s a good draw,” Frazee said.