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Second annual Manlius buy local campaign set for October

— The Manlius Chamber of Commerce is encouraging residents to discover Manlius throughout the month of October through its buy local campaign.

Last year, the event was held for only two weeks. But for 2013, the Chamber decided to expand the campaign to run from Oct. 1 through the 31st.

“We need to have support for local merchants to keep the tax dollars here,” said Chamber of Commerce member Judy Dardzinski, who came up with the idea for the buy local campaign last year. “These are the people that continually get asked for donations and support for many different organizations and we’re thankful that they do that. But we also need to keep the businesses here in the town of Manlius.”

The idea for the event came to Dardzinski after she attended the Madison County Farm Days, in which participants receive a booklet and are encouraged to visit as many local farms as possible. When a person goes to a participating farm, the farmer stamps the booklet to show that the person was there. And in the end, the person turns in the stamped book to be eligible to win prizes.

The buy local event in the town of Manlius is very similar, except instead of visiting farms, residents may visit local businesses to obtain their stickers. Anyone interested can find the booklets at the Fayetteville or Manlius Tops, the East Area YMCA, or at any of the 54 participating business.

The number of stickers a person collects determines whether they are entered in a drawing to win $50, $100 or $200 in “Manlius Bucks,” which can be used at any business participating in the campaign.

Mary Wykstra, a district leader at Primerica in East Syracuse, is the chairperson of this year’s buy local event. She said that while the idea of supporting local business is a big part of the campaign, it’s also about making connections within the community and educating the public as to what businesses are out there.

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