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Association of Commerce works to keep things going in the community

All the fun of eBay goes live in Kenmare for the next two weeks as the Kenmare Association of Commerce sponsors the first “kBay” (for Kenmare) Silent Auction.

6/24/09 (Wed)

kBay is the latest A of C event


All the fun of eBay goes live in Kenmare for the next two weeks as the Kenmare Association of Commerce sponsors the first “kBay” (for Kenmare) Silent Auction.


Who needs a computer to shop for unique gifts? Just check out the ad on page 4 of today’s issue and then visit the businesses listed to bid on the items and services they’re offering.


There’s everything from meal packages or a windshield to ND State Fair concert tickets, a week’s stay at a Whitefish, MT, condo, or even a pontoon tour around Lake Metigoshe. If you’re a Honkers fan, check out the Activity Ticket package at Kenmare High School. Want to spoil yourself or someone else? Then bid on the gift basket at Kenmare Drug.


You can keep going back, too, to check your bid and see who’s competing against you. The bid sheets will be posted in each business until July 9th, when the kBay festivities conclude in grand style with a barbecue in the city park.


The action starts that night at 5 pm, with continued bidding on all the listed items until 6:30 pm, so bring your pen and be ready to stake out your purchase! J&A Karaoke will provide music for the evening, and the Kenmare Association of Commerce will serve up hot dogs, burgers, beans, drinks and ice cream to everyone beginning at 6 pm, at no cost.


At 7 pm sharp, winners of the silent auction listings will be announced--and expected to pay up. Most of the businesses have announced a specific designation for their auction proceeds, with the fire department, food pantry, summer baseball program, Northwest Health Care Foundation, library, Nazareth Lutheran Church, Gift of Love and Baptist Home among the recipients.


Shopping the kBay Silent Auction will provide you with quality goods and services, AND benefit other community groups--with a free meal thrown in for good measure.


When does eBay ever feed you?


Long list of annual activities

The kBay Silent Auction is the latest in a long list of activities sponsored by the Kenmare Association of Commerce in an effort to promote the city of Kenmare. Association of Commerce president Jamie Livingston said the organization likes to plan community events for visitors and local folks alike, of all ages, to enjoy.


“We want things to be going on in town,” he said, using the recent Rib Rally and car and motorcycle show as an example. “That [event] brought in out-of-town visitors, but it also gave residents something out of the ordinary.”


The Association of Commerce also wants to encourage shoppers to support the businesses in town. “We want to let people know what’s available,” said secretary/treasurer Becky Kostad, “and get people to shop in Kenmare. If people realize that Kenmare has a doctor, an optometrist, a chiropractor, a dentist and a few businesses, everybody gets a benefit.”


“The events we have will bring people to town,” Livingston said, adding that local business owners benefit from the increased traffic and interest in their stores. “For our citizens, [the events] provide a form of entertainment, but we can also make them aware of the quality services and retail opportunities we have here.”


He emphasized that Association of Commerce members work to keep the promotions fresh and updated, citing the addition of the rib festival and car rally in May. “That seems to evolve each year,” he said. “We definitely have a lot of people in the park that day!”


The kBay promotion running the next two weeks is another new idea for the Association, with the idea of replacing the traditional Crazy Day activities that have seen dwindling participation in recent years.


Other popular events sponsored by the Kenmare Association of Commerce include the Citywide Clean-Up Day in May, the Citywide Rummage Sale in June, and the Goose on the Loose activity during GooseFest week in October. November’s Light-Up Night has been a mainstay in town for a number of years, complete with Santa Claus pictures, late store openings and sales, and a parade of lights around the downtown square. “We’re always trying to tweak it, to make it better,” said Livingston.


“We also do things a lot of people don’t realize,” added Kostad. That list includes things like decorating the downtown park for Christmas, purchasing the lights and animated displays used for the holidays, buying and maintaining the city banners that hang downtown throughout the year, and paying for the music service that sounds through the park speakers. In the past, the Association has assisted with events like all-school reunions, homecoming parades and Kenmare’s centennial celebration, often providing entertainment for the whole family as well as advertising.


Meetings each month

The Association of Commerce holds formal meetings on the first Monday of each month at one of the restaurants in town. “That’s where existing promotional events are discussed and the planning gets done,” said Livingston. “New promotions ideas are also considered. Also, we try to communicate and share information about workshops or trainings in the area that may benefit business owners.”


Every business owner in town is invited to join the Association of Commerce, with dues applied toward advertising community events sponsored by the Association. New businesses may join the Association at no cost during their first year of operation. Employees of a business are encouraged to attend and participate in the meetings, sharing their insights and ideas as well.


“And we always welcome somebody willing to lend a hand, helping with getting our promotions accomplished,” Livingston said, adding that anyone interested in helping or offering new ideas was invited to contact a board member.


Current officers of the Association of Commerce also include vice-president Ronda Zeltinger, promotions chair Laurie Dockter, and board members Shawn Smothers, Barb Mickelsen, Terry Froseth and Kari Bies.


Kostad and Livingston agreed the Association of Commerce plays a significant role in Kenmare’s vitality. “You may not see a direct impact in your business,” Kostad said, referring to businesses such as Harris Construction or Farmers Union Insurance that may not experience an immediate increase in traffic during a particular event. “But this gives the idea that Kenmare is a bigger community than what people think. We realize people can’t do everything in town, but we appreciate their business here.”


Livingston, who has served as the Association’s president for five years, invited the public’s response and involvement in community promotions. “I’m proud that we have changed things [with our promotions] and kept things up-to-date,” he said. “We’re definitely willing to listen to ideas to make our promotions more appealing.”


For more information about the Kenmare Association of Commerce, contact Livingston at 385-4287, Kostad at 385-4263, or any other board member. Information can also be found on the Association of Commerce link at