Momentum is building behind the annual Lacombe & District Chamber of Commerce 2022 Passport to Christmas program which kicks off on Nov. 12.
The way it works is that for every $10 spent at a participating business, the customer receives a stamp on their passport.
Each passport can be dropped off at draw boxes at the participating businesses to be entered in draws for ‘Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks’, said Helen Peck, head of promotions and sales with the Chamber.
Lacombe Bucks can then be spent at any of the vendors in the program, and there are 20,000 passports printed up each year, she said.
The program runs from Nov. 12 through to Dec. 24, and prizes will be drawn at Sunny 94 after 2 p.m. on Jan. 3.
The grand prize is $3,000 in Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks, which can only be used in the participating businesses.
The second prize is $1,500 in Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks and the third prize lands you $1,000 in Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks.
And even if you only partly fill up your passport, you aren’t out of the running for a prize - you could be eligible to win $500 in Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks.
“We’ve got 90 businesses taking part this year as well, so we are really excited about that. When I started eight years ago, we had 24 - so it’s just grown by leaps and bounds,” she said.
“We are also excited about it because it keeps that money in the community, and helps to support our local economy,” she said, adding the Chamber team is also grateful for sponsorship from Sunny 94, Echo Lacombe, and Strand360.
“We are so happy to be teaming up again with (them). We couldn’t do it without them - they are amazing partners.”
Peck added that it is also double stamp night during ‘Light Up the Night’ late-night shopping on Nov. 24.
Businesses will be giving double stamps on customers’ passports from 2 p.m. until closing.
“Bentley is also having a double stamp night for the town’s late-night shopping on Dec. 3rd from 2 p.m. until closing as well.”
Meanwhile, feedback about the program is always extremely positive, she said.
“It is always very, very popular in Lacombe - people love it. It’s exciting - it’s kind of like playing bingo. Shoppers have their passports and they are trying to get them filled,” she said with a chuckle.
“The businesses also love it because it grows the idea of people shopping locally, and we’ve also included Bentley in the program as well. We also went out to Clive this year, and have a business there taking part, too.”
Peck also emphasized how wide the range of participating businesses is, from groceries to various services to ideas for Christmas gifts.
“And we have so many hidden gems in Lacombe - there are some amazing businesses here,” she said, adding that the program is also about building awareness of what’s available locally.
“We also have 10 business pop-up draws during the six-week program as well for $100 in Lacombe and District Shopping Bucks. Every participating business has a draw box, so we have the owner draw out a passport. We then give that person a call and they win the $100.”
Their name is then put back into the draw box for the big prizes down the road.
During the 2021 event, Passport to Christmas confirmed that $3,390,300 was spent at the participating businesses.
“I’m hoping we can even exceed that this year,” said Peck.
Visit www.lacombechamber.ca for more information about Passport to Christmas, or find them on Facebook for the latest updates.
“It’s all part of the job of the Chamber - to support our local economy in Lacombe and district.”