Cash for Christmas is expected to pay dividends in Elkton's downtown all year long.
The annual event, which has shoppers who frequent downtown participating merchants collecting store receipts for more than a month in return for raffle entries, has grown by leaps and bounds.
According to Jessica Price, administrative assistant at Elkton's Chamber/Alliance, Christmas for Cash in 2015 saw 119 entrants collecting $21,000 in receipts. This year, participation tripled to 403 entrants and receipt totals were anticipated to be more than $100,000.
The last few days of the contest were busy. Spork, a new restaurant and bakery in the downtown in 2016, was pushing the event to shoppers and diners. The Palette & The Page also made a push for participants. Typically Colonial Jewelers sells big ticket items. This year, Best Vacations, another new downtown business, had participants entering after purchasing multi-thousand dollar vacations.
Entrants were also asked for their personal information. This will help the Elkton Chamber/Alliance know where to spend their marketing dollars.
Every town in the county had entrants. There were also participants from California, New Jersey, and Georgia. Pennsylvania shoppers also had a huge presence shopping in Elkton from Millersville, Thornton, Chester, Downingtown and other areas. "We didn't know before where the shoppers were coming from. We added 100 people to our email blast as a result of this," said Price.