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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:19 am 
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In another thread one of the members of this board mentioned that maybe the bell ringing was too loud at the Salvation Army stations. Yeah the bells can be a little loud or shrill. What my son & I have done when we do a time slot is use a belt of sleigh bells. Much more melodious to the ears & something different to get folks attention. (No one says you have to use the bell they provide.)

The Salvation Army is under seige around my town as the major shopping mall and another store or two have gone "politically correct" and won't allow bell ringers this year or in the future. My wife works with Salvation Army on a regular basis. (She is a Job Coach training mentally handicapped adults.) In addition to helping the homeless & underpriviledged, they provide training opportunities to mentally handicapped in the Salvation Army kitchens during their lunch programs.

Please consider calling the S.A. in your towns to donate some of your time as a bell ringer. It's a great opportunity to meet/greet folks you live with and harass them to donate to a truly worthy charity. If you can't find an hour or two to ring a bell, send a check. Your donation of time or money won't go to waste!

<small>[ December 02, 2004, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Boettcher ]</small>

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:54 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:48 pm 
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Baby,

Didn't Walmart ban the bell ringers a long time ago? Either way that is a company that isn't exactly as friendly toward towns as they want you to think they are. Want to see a lot of small businesses die quickly, open a Walmart...


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:58 pm 
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Get your facts straight baby, Target donates big bucks to the Salvation Army, among other charities each and every year. They do not allow solicitation of any sort outside their stores. I can see why these companies do this. I can't imagine how over run these stores would be with requests, they need to draw the line somewhere. The Salavation Army does many wonderful things and I support them. This year it seems that they are sending out mega mailings. If they need the funds I don't think these mailings could be that cost effective.

<small>[ December 06, 2004, 06:59 PM: Message edited by: Deb Richardson ]</small>

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:05 am 
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The real problem here has to do with rights as they are interpreted by the courts. What is being argued is the right of a shopkeeper to determine which charities are allowed to solicit on his/her property. Most shopkeepers (even Walmart) are in the business of making money, not spending it defending themselves in court from off-the-wall lawsuits. I understand the position of many retailers in simply denying everyone the ability to solicit donations on their property rather than having to get involved in litigation. This is just another indication of the really sorry state of affairs that we have allowed to develop. We are in real trouble when the Salvation Army has to be denied the ability to conduct operations because the retailer fears he/she will be sued.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:24 pm 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deb Richardson:
They do not allow solicitation of any sort outside their stores.
Deb, here in Minnesota Target stores have always had the Salvation Army bell ringers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is the first year they said no to them.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:31 pm 
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Yes, Nell, I know that in the past Target has allowed the bell rings, however this year it is company policy not to do this or any other type of solicitation, due in part to the risk of a lawsuit. They do donate very generously to the Salvation Army among other charities. From what I've been told what Target donates more than makes up for what the bellringers would have collected. My son is employed by Target in management. Target has informed their employees to be ready for the uniformed and possible boycotts.
Hope you are doing well Nell and have a Merry Christmas.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:23 pm 
Boycotting the stores that don't allow bellringers is like putting a stupid yellow ribbon on your car. You're not supporting your troops unless you actually do something helpful, and you're not helping Salvation Army unless you donate. Boycotting the stores will do nothing. Rather than sitting around and whining, perhaps think about going to donate in whining's place. It's not like the people who donate ONLY go to Target therefore do not donate. :D

<small>[ December 08, 2004, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:08 pm 
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Very nice post Haley.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:20 am 
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Amen Haley!

My wife & I sent a check to our local site, but still drop change with the bell ringers.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:43 am 
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Baby, Target has GREAT clothes for the "in-betweeners" :D


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:52 am 
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And for those of you who don't like Wal-Mart because they supposedly close up small businesses, well, get a clue!! Competition is the American way. Competition is not BAD for the economy, it's GOOD for the economy. Small business owners don't like Wal-Mart because it means they might have to lower their prices. When they refuse to become competitive they go under. Too bad, so sad, for them.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:54 am 
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Ever since Marshfield put in a Wal-Mart, that town has done nothing but BOOM! I couldnt get over how much that town has grown the last time I was there.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:06 am 
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Same is true for Rhinelander.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:28 am 
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Your right, competitions is good. However, the "boom" you see is generally the other "chain" stores. See how the small hardware stores are doing in cities that open a Menards, Fleet Farm or Home Depot.

Now, remember that John and Jane Doe who own the hardware store do not have a huge national advertising budget, contracts with the suppliers that allow them to sell products for prices lower than their competitors can get them, etc. John and Jane Doe's hardware store does however donate to your childrens sports events, spend their money at the other local stores rather than ship their profits to a corporate headquarters to be spent somewhere else, etc.

On the flip side you have Walmart who brags about how much they do for the comunity, etc. I would love to see a study that shows per dollar spent in their store how much is donated back and how much community service their employees do compared to all the other businesses they hurt.

I have no problem with people shopping at these stores, heck I go to them too. I tend to avoid Walmart and Menards a little more than the others and I actually like Target (although I liked the one in Eau Claire much better than the one in Appleton).

The other discussion I'll head off right away because we have heard it before is that my dad has stopped bigger stores from coming to Tomahawk. First, I don't think my family has the clout to stop anyone or anything from coming but whatever. Second, those bigger stores tend to spend a fortune on advertising (look at any bigger city newspaper on a Sunday). We aren't exactly clamoring to push away what would quickly become one of our largest customers...

I'm just trying to help encourage people to consider shopping at some of the smaller stores at times. Think it through, you know many of those people and they have a much bigger effect on your life than you might think. The prices aren't always that much different either.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:25 pm 
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Just some information on Wal-Mart contributions to community.

"We believe that community concerns are best addressed in our local communities. Our grassroots style of giving enables our Associates to identify and support organizations that are improving the quality of life right in their local communities. We empower our Associates to determine the best ways for our Stores, SAM'S CLUBS and Distribution Centers to be involved locally. Consequently, our stores, clubs and DC Associates in their own communities direct the vast majority of our funding initiatives.

Wal-Mart's community involvement approach is a unique one. Associates combine financial and volunteer support to assist organizations in making a positive difference. Many of our community involvement programs require and encourage our Associates to be directly involved with community non-profit organizations and their projects. When we support national causes, we require that funds stay in the local community to benefit the area where they are raised.

What We Fund
Our associates and customers know where Wal-Mart can help the most, and we take great pride in getting involved and seeing the results of our efforts in person.

Programs
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. contributed $150 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations. Customers and associates raised an additional $60 million at our stores and clubs. They accomplished this by organizing fundraisers and making grants to organizations that are making a difference in their communities. Some of our giving achievements for last year include:

More than $85 million in community grants. We empower our associates to direct their charitable giving to the causes and organizations that are most important in their community. Through fundraising events initiated at stores and clubs, the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation is able to match most funds raised by each location. More than 60,000 grants were awarded to local non-profit groups through our Matching Grant program in 2003.
$206 million to local United Way chapters since 1983 The Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation matches associate payroll deductions and presents a gift to their local United Way. In 2003, local United Way chapters received almost $22 million.
More than $293 million in 16 years for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the No. 1 corporate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network. Our associates raised more than $28 million for Children’s Miracle Network in 2003. Every dollar raised by each Wal-Mart store, SAM'S CLUB and distribution/transportation facility throughout the year is distributed to a CMN-affiliated hospital that serves the associate’s local community. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat over 17 million children in North America each year who face life- threatening illness and injury.
$1.8 million in Environmental Grants in 2003 alone. Every location awards an environmental grant of $500 to a local school for recycling programs, clean-up initiatives, or to start an environmental science project.
$80 million in scholarships since 1979. Every store and club awards a $1,000 Sam Walton Community Scholarship to two college-bound high school seniors. In addition, the company offers scholarships to associates and their dependents. Last year, over $5.7 million in scholarships was awarded to deserving students. In 2003, Education-related giving totaled more $40 million.
$3.2 million in Volunteerism Always Pays grants. Grants for community organizations are available to Wal-Mart associates who volunteer their time to local non-profit organizations like schools, 501(c)3 groups and faith-based organizations. In 2003, our associates volunteered over 852,000 hours of their time to charitable organizations. If you consider that a year has 8,760 hours, then that means our associates have logged a combined total of over 97 years of volunteer time in 2003 alone!
What Is Eligible?

501(c)3 organizations - The agency must be in good standing with the IRS and will be verifi ed electronically through the IRS website.
Schools - Public, parochial and private. (501(c)3 guideline restrictions may apply.)
Religious Organizations - Our funding is directed to projects whose activities impact the general community, not a single group.
Government Agencies - A funding confirmation letter from government body may be requested.
Civic and Veterans Groups - Organizations must have a valid 501(c)4 or 501(c)19 tax id number. Funds must be used for a project benefiting the community."


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:29 pm 
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Do you know is the $150 million mark just last year or in the lifetime of Walmart?

Gannett is a much smaller company (remember Walmart is in the top couple if not the top of the Fortune 500). Gannett's foundation has given over $100 million since 1991. Over 1.5 million of that was matching employee donations just last year.

Target, also a smaller store donates over 2 million a week.

None of these stats mean a lick because no one is going to be able to add up all the donations of the smaller businesses. For example, I know Vieguts tends to be one of the donors for many of the outdoors groups. I think Augie's Collectables used to donate and help get some of the baseball uniforms. Ben Franklin, Ace Hardware and others donated when we were in Odessy of the Mind. Nelson's and Park City Credit Union helped our 4-H group. Heritage tries to fill a pickup with food. There are tons of others that I can't think of at the moment.

The Leader has donated a considerable amount of ad space, resources and money to a large variety of organizations. If you compare profits the Leader is very small but I would bet that percentage wise we probably do a lot more for community organizations than Gannett does.

Now, with all the money people from Tomahawk spend at Walmart because they think it is so much cheaper tell me three things Walmart has done for Tomahawk...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:56 pm 
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Well, I can think of at least one thing right off the top of my head. Wal-Mart has given people jobs when there were none to be had in Tomahawk. (low paying jobs, I'll grant you, but a low paying job is better than no job at all)
Oh, another one...Wal-Mart has given the people of Tomahawk a place to shop where they can actually buy an item of clothing that doesnt come from the Family Dollar or say Tomahawk on it. Wal-Mart=An affordable place with a nice selection of just about anything you would need.
Ok, now I just have to think of one more thing!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:57 pm 
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Tomahawk used to have clothing stores (and I believe has a women's clothing store again) but didn't get enough business to do much. Again, if people would consider shopping in town the stores might carry more products. Ben Franklin used to carry limited clothing too (I have no idea if the still do).

If five businesses in Tomahawk have to cut one to two jobs so that Walmart can hire three to four of those people what exactly does that do?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:39 am 
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I think the stores need to carry more products BEFORE people can do more shopping there. IF someone would put in a nice clothing store with everyday type clothes as well as nicer things someone could wear to work and carry a variety at a decent price, people would shop there, they wouldnt go out of town. I think most people shop out of town out of necessity, not merely because they want to. Ben Franklin does carry some clothing, but have you checked out the prices? Who wants to pay $40.00 for a sweatshirt? Not me, not when I can go to Wal-Mart and get one for $12.00. Also, so many people who live in Tomahawk have to commute to work, either to Wausau, Rhinelander, Merrill. People can shop in the towns they work in for much cheaper and they are already there, it's not a special trip. Gas alone is usually at least 5 cents a gallon cheaper in Wausau. And besides, when you go to the Mall in Wausau, or Wal-Mart, Target, ShopKo, or K-mart, who do you see shopping there? Tomahawk Business owners!!! They don't even shop in Tomahawk, but they want everyone else to? Personally, I do alot of my shopping online. No crowds, no long lines, don't have to go out in the cold, and they deliver right to my door! Now that's what I call SHOPPING, LOL.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:39 am 
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I can give you one reason I shop out of town. I don't mind paying a few cent more for an item but I really hate getting ripped off with outrageous prices. A while back I built a storage shed and needed shelf brackets. The type that are L shaped and painted grey. I checked at Ace Hdw. and they wanted $3.99 ea. Now I needed 36 of them so you can see why I hesitated a bit. I drove to Rhinelander and bought the same brand brackets for $1.99. That folks is $72.00 difference. Now Ace is not a ma and pa store. They are nation wide and should be conpetitive. But for the couple bucks it cost for gas it was well worth the trip. If I only needed one or two I would buy locally, but when I am buying anything more guess where I will shop. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:37 pm 
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Kerry, I find it funny :) :p you advocate shopping in Tomahawk but do not know if Ben Franklin still carries clothes, when is the last time you shopped at the Ben Franklin in Tomahawk?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:13 pm 
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Sorry Nugget,

I still say I'm going home when I go to Tomahawk (my parents) but I now live in Appleton, Wisconsin since graduating from UW-Eau Claire. I haven't really lived in Tomahawk for about 5 years and even the two years before that were only for the summer.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:26 pm 
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I must admit that I shop somewhat at Wal-Mart, however I have gotten so I don't much like their super centers, the produce deptartment in each and everyone I've shopped at smells of rotten produce. The Wal-Mart in Eau Claire is an absolute pigs sty. The new Super Center opening in Chippewa Falls is suppose to be the biggest and best in the area. But being a 24/7 store I'm sure it too will become dumpy like most Wal-Mart's. Not to sound like a snoop but their clothing is horrible, I don't find an article of clothing affordable if it doesn't last past the first two or three washings. Shopko and Target have equally priced garments that weather the wash much better. That has been my expierence. It seems contributions for charities are through "empowerment", not directly from Wal-Mart. They talk a big game, I don't think encouraging underpaid and overworked employees to contribute to whom ever is really a very nice thing to do to their employees.

Tomahawk may not have a wide choice of shopping, but tell me what community of 3500 does. I sure do miss the Tomahawk Ben Franklin. It's clean and friendly. Most everyone knows you by name. Granted some items are more expensive than at Wal-Mart but with the price of gas is it really a savings to drive to Rhinelander. John Kromm gives extensively to the community and he doesn't expect any type of pat on the back. He has given jobs to many a high school student over the years. Some that maybe wouldn't have had a job because driving to another community was out of the question. Tomahawk and it's shopping were always good to us and I'm counting the days to retirement so we can return.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:44 pm 
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Deb, I'm not sure how you wash clothes, LOL, but...my Wal-Mart clothes last for YEARS! I'm still wearing stuff I bought there 5-7 yrs ago. I've only ever boughten one thing from Wal-Mart that has worn out quickly but that was made out of that fuzzy chenille (sp?) stuff. The back of it wore bare from rubbing against my chair at work, LOL. But it only cost me $12.00 on clearance, so it is really no biggie.


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