By Kim Hutchison
Christmas shopping in Ponoka this year could come with a great reward.
The Ponoka Chamber of Commerce’s “Passport to Christmas” began on Nov. 12 and will continue until the end of Dec. 22.
Anyone can get a passport at any of the 50 participating locations. With each $10 spent at the various participating businesses, one receives a stamp on his or her passport. Each passport requires 30 stamps in order to be considered complete. Once it is complete, return it to be entered in a three grand prize draw set to take place on Dec. 23. The grand prize is a one-day shopping spree valued at $1,500 followed by a women’s or men’s Citizen Eco-Driven watch from Lyon’s Jewelry valued at $300. The third prize is Ponoka Shopping Bucks valued at $200. All winners will be notified by telephone.
Before the stamped passport is returned so it can be entered in the draw, don’t forget to look at the centre of it. This year there is a “Scrooge Key” represented by a sequence of five numbers. If one enters the numbers online at www.Ponokalive.ca, he or she is eligible to win one of 50 gift certificates for local businesses valued at $25 each.
Gift certificates can be claimed in person at the Chamber Office during office hours. After the prize is claimed, sheets will immediately be returned to those who brought them in so they can be entered in the grand prize draw. Scrooge key winnings that are not claimed by Dec. 22 will be drawn for on Dec. 23.
“This is a shop in Ponoka promotion,” said Chamber manager Barry Neath. “Staying in town gives merchants the chance to supply needs to the community and in turn, strengthens it.”
Additional benefits to shopping locally include coming across unique items, personalized service and knowledgeable staff – benefits one may not be able to get elsewhere, especially during this time of the year.