By Alex Gladu, Writer, Independent We Stand
Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, The Mower Shop proves year after year that even a small business in a small town can make big things happen. All it takes is a strong partnership, a supportive community, dedicated business owners and their caring employees.
Each year, The Mower Shop teams up with a locally owned radio station to host the Make-A-Wish Mid-South Fundraiser, supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s the largest fundraising event in Arkansas, and it has a direct impact on the local community. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants “wishes” to children with life-threatening illnesses all over the country. The Mower Shop’s 11th annual event, which was held on April 10, 2015, raised more than $120,000 and granted wishes to all 24 local children on the waiting list.
The event raises money through donations. Every dollar donated equals one entry to win a Grasshopper mower or STIHL power equipment. This year, The Mower Shop donated the Grasshopper mower, which raked in more than eight times its retail value in donations. The event also included a free concert on the final day. Emi Sunshine and her family band, The Rain, performed a free concert; which really helped to stimulate donations on the final day of the fundraiser.
Kim and Judy Olson, who have owned The Mower Shop since 1986, know that the event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community and the enthusiasm for the cause. “For a city of only 80,000 people, raising this amount of money is unheard of,” Kim says. “People begin calling our store in the middle of January, eager to donate money and find out when the event will be held.”
Despite challenges in the community, The Mower Shop made 2015 the biggest year yet for its annual event, thanks to their local partners, the community, and a great cause.
For more information about The Mower Shop, visit www.the-mower-shop-inc.com.
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