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From JCK Magazine

Jewelers Give Back

Cover Story
By Jennifer Heebner, Senior Editor with Paul Holewa
This story appears in the February 2010 issue of JCK magazine
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AN OPERATION THAT HELPS

When Ken Lauhoff, owner of Lauhoff Jewelry, in Chillicothe, Mo., read that Operation Help, a charity that lends financial support to “people just having hard time getting by,” would exhaust its annual funds at the start of November—right as the weather turned frosty—he knew he had to help. Operation Help receives no government funding. So Lauhoff started selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree to his store. In 22 days, Lauhoff, with some help from the community, raised $8,030. Students at the Grand River Technical School sold $800 worth, and Lauhoff sold the rest. Prices were $5 for one and five for $20, meaning that the jeweler, a fixture in his community for 34 years, sold more than 1,400 tickets.

This isn't the first time Lauhoff has helped out residents. In a recent fund raiser for a new Head Start school, he helped raise over $600,000. His technique was the same: “Door to door, people to people,” he says.

ROTTERMOND CARES

Rottermond Jewelers is no stranger to good deeds. The store, with locations in Brighton and Milford, Mich., routinely supports small charities, knowing that their efforts make a difference. Before Christmas 2009, for example, Rottermond Jewelers collected gifts, personal care items, snacks, and cash to send to American troops overseas, some of whom are friends or family of Rottermond Jewelers' employees and customers.

“We let people know by advertising in the newspaper, and we hung a banner outside the store,” says David Scott, managing partner.

The business also held a VIP night for customers, who got involved in giving. “We collected hundreds of items, including Slim Jims, Chapstick, comedy movies, playing cards, and Pop Tarts,” adds Scott.

The store also hosts a huge annual event for the Livingston County Habitat for Humanity, in which store merchandise—as well as other donations, such as Bose stereo equipment and autographed sports memorabilia—is raffled off and tickets are sold. All proceeds benefit the charity. Some 80 tickets sold out in 10 days, and the event raised $7,870.

“The generosity of the community was amazing,” says Scott. “It didn't stop even for a hard-hit city like Detroit.”

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For more on jeweler participation in charities, visit JCKonline.com and click on the Retail Details blog.

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