Facebook campaign kept giving to Monroe Food Pantry over the holidays

Laura Walker of Victorinox, Ronnie Jensen of Jensen Tire & Automotive, and Eric Sippin of Sippin Energy Products each presented a $500 donation to Monroe Food Pantry Coordinator Kathleen Turner. Contributed

Residents dined at restaurants, did their shopping and hired professional services, while chronicling their experience of “doing their business in Monroe” through photos and comments in posts on the Monroe, CT Residents Facebook page as part of a grassroots campaign supporting local businesses.

Barbara Fahr, who started the #doyourbusinessinMonroe campaign, held weekly drawings for participants to win gift certificates from Monroe businesses.

Jeannine Capria owns Intrinsic Health Source. Website photo

Throughout the campaign, which ran from November through Jan. 1, generous local sponsors donated $5 per post to raise a total of $2,200 for the Monroe Food Pantry, allowing the nonprofit to stock its shelves to assist families struggling to make ends meet.

“I am shocked by the groundswell that occurred within the community once I put the hashtag idea out there,” Fahr said. “The business sponsors, which came forth to donate to the Food Pantry, and the resident participation in posting their ‘business,’ really are the reason this idea took off. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who participated. It was awesome to see how much we all care about Monroe.”

Ray Giovanni of Union Savings Bank presents a check to Monroe Food Pantry Coordinator Kathleen Turner on behalf of the bank. Contributed

Fahr, one of the Monroe, CT Residents page’s administrators, came up with the idea to keep attention on shopping local beyond Small Business Saturday.

The campaign/contest had 439 total entries, 232 unique people and 189 unique businesses over the six-week-period, according to Fahr.

Among the local businesses volunteering to sponsor posts, while donating money to the Monroe Food Pantry for each one, were Sippin Energy Products ($500), Intrinsic Health Source ($500), Jensen Tire & Automotive ($500), GlenRo Spirit Shoppe ($500), Union Savings Bank ($100) and the Victorinox Swiss Army Factory Store ($100).

The Top 10 businesses receiving posts were:

1). Lakeside Nutrition

2). Benedict’s Home & Garden

3). Cardsmart

4). The Last Drop

5). Seven Maples

6). Terra Cafe

7). Mason Jar

8). Republic Kitchen

9). Monroe Social

10). Sakana Sushi tied with Turning the Page

Top 10 entrants:

1). Lisa Pinto

2). Julee Lesko

3). Marsha Vetare

4). Dawn Veccherelli

5). Lilian Kus

6). Danielle Gratrix

7). Veronica Condon

8). Jennifer Paulson

9). Laura Tveter

10). Nancy Sorge

Weekly Drawing Winners:

Kathy Horvath – Monroe Social

Lillian Kus – Brothers Pizza

Lina Lombana – Sakana Sushi

Michelle Orr – Mason Jar

Nathan Smith – El Coyote

Pamela Williams – Lorraine K. Boutique

End of Contest Drawing Winners:

Bonnie Schneider – Veracious

Briget Stronge – Lakeside Nutrition

Elmer Hayden – Terra Cafe

Julee Lesko – Seven Maples

Lisa Molwitz – Republic Kitchen

Lisa Pinto – Monroe Town and Country Vet Hospital

Marsha Vetare – Salon Aponte

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