Shopper's Poker Run Boosts Business, Helps Hungry
It wasn't the typical card being used at checkouts throughout Clayton Saturday. Shoppers had the choice of picking a card, any card, from a deck.
It was all for the annual Holiday Shopper's Poker Run - an event taking place in Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay, too.
The goal? To have people collect five cards total, each from a different business. It's meant to be big boost for local businesses' bottom lines.
"It brings people in from the outside, Watertown, hopefully from Jefferson County, around the county, that will come and do some Christmas shopping," explained Charlotte Brooks, at the Thousand Islands Museum.
It's wasn't about just about attracting holiday shoppers, either.
Proceeds from the event went to local food pantries.
"We've all been there at one point in our life. When you go through a rough patch and this country is, this community is for helping others," said Karla Peterson, owner of Karla's Christmas Shoppe.
"They [food pantries] run out really quickly, so it's really important everybody comes out to help and make donations," said Ainsley Singer, who works at O'Brien's Restaurant and Bar.
So what did customers get with their cards?
Well, first you needed to collect a full hand - No cheating.
"Have to have a true poker hand. You can't have four kings of hearts because you know there's not four kings of hearts," Peterson explained.
Everyone who collected the full share met at O'Brien's Restaurant and Bar, to enter in a drawing to win a presents donated by the participating businesses.
"The presents are all wrapped. So they don't know what they could get, a hundred dollar gift certificates, they could get a $10 gift certificates," Peterson said.
"We have awesome auction items this year. The businesses have been very generous in donating for us and it's a worthy cause," said the Clayton Chamber of Commerce's Tricia Bannister.
It's a worthy, very popular cause.
"Every year its grown significantly, so we appreciate all the help that we can get for the food pantries," Singer said.
And just about everyone who spoke to 7 News all had the same message: the Shopper's Poker Run lasts just one day, but food pantries across the North Country need donations all year.