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Shop Local contest winners announced

The Two Harbors Shop Local contest included 46 participants and tracked more than $150,000 in local spending. The winners included (front row, from left) Drea Jordon, Karli Norman and Vaughn Christiansen; (second row) Rees Beck-Heinzen, Thomas DeChantal, Dominic Mullen and Cooper Nelson; and Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce president Janelle Jones. (Photo courtesy of Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce)

The Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its Shop Local contest last week.

The grand prize winners receiving a bike from Spokengear and a Granite Gear Backpack were Vaughn Christiansen and Karli Norman; fourth place winners of a pair of snowshoes from Spokengear and a Granite Gear backpack were Drea Jordon and Victoria Ulanowski; and 10th place winners receiving a 32-inch flat screen TV were Thomas DeChantal and Greta VanSanten.

The contest was simple — local kids earn points when family members and friends make purchases at local retailers within the 834 phone exchange and take their receipts to Seagren's True Value Hardware along First Avenue in Two Harbors. Kids earned a point for every dollar spent.

In addition, David Lind and Maria Rae Thorstenson each won a random drawing for an AmericInn pool party and six others won Dairy Queen Blizzard gift certificates.

Forty-six area kids entered the contest and the Chamber tracked more than $150,000 spent locally between Nov. 27 and Dec. 23.

Chamber president Janelle Jones said the idea was inspired by a contest Falks Pharmacy used to run during the 1970s. The Falks contest ran a leaderboard for money spent in the store and awarded prizes to the winner. The Chamber expanded it to include all local businesses and over the first four years of the contest, it has tracked nearly $600,000 in local spending. Jones also thanked the nearly 20 local businesses that participated, sponsored or donated prizes for the contest.

"It's great for our local businesses to see the locals supporting them and we have a lot of fun doing this," she said.