TERRE HAUTE —
Some area shoppers have created a good reason to spend money for the benefit of the community.
Shop United is a charitable event benefitting local merchants and United Way agencies in the Wabash Valley, and the first shopping trip has been set for Sept. 27 with a 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. event in Clark and Vigo counties.
For Terre Haute area residents, they will meet at the First Financial Comfort Center on South Seventh Street to board a motorcoach traveling to Clark County, Ill.
Those on the route will follow the Old National Road, with stops at an 1800s restored Opera House in Casey, lunch at the remote Moonshine restaurant and visit to the communities of Marshall, Paris and Casey while seeing the world’s largest wind chime and the world’s largest golf tee.
Participants in Illinois will join the shopping trip, which will return to downtown Terre Haute to visit participating merchants who display Shop United signs in their storefront windows. The Terre Haute shopping will end at the Willow Gift Shop on Hulman Street.
“Several locations will be participating,” said Claudia Tanoos, event organizer and United Way board member. “Those merchants will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from that day’s sales to the United Way of the Wabash Valley.”
Two other Shop United days are being planned, she said, to service the other counties in the UWWV six-county area. No dates have been determined, but one of the trips will involve Clay and Sullivan county merchants, while the other trip will include Parke and Vermillion counties.
Merchant Pam Ellis of Rogers Jewelers said last year’s shopping event was a bonus not only for the United Way, but for the participating businesses.
“It was a great event to have the different community support, and I had people come into my shop who were not familiar with us,” Ellis said. “The United Way has so many different organizations that they work with, it’s nice to give back to the United Way.”
Sally Whitehurst also attended last year’s shopping events.
“We learned about what the United Way is doing in surrounding counties, and those agencies in Vermillion and Sullivan counties who benefit from United Way funding,” Whitehurst said. “And, we went to shops I never knew about or had heard about, and the owners were so excited to have us.”
There was no “shopper’s guilt” on the trip, she said, because of the 10-percent commitment to the United Way.
“We’re now getting into the holiday season,” Whitehurst said, “so why not try to get those holiday gifts early during one of these trips, and help the United Way agencies as well?”
Tickets for the first Shop United trip are $50 per person, and include breakfast, lunch and transportation.
A limited number of tickets is available by calling 812-235-6287.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.