NEW CASTLE —
It was, well, a mob scene.
Nearly 100 people crammed into Butz Flowers on Saturday morning, creating foot traffic that the East Washington Street business — or any downtown merchant, for that matter — likely hasn’t seen in decades.
The shoppers were responding to a call from New Visions for Lawrence County to form a “cash mob.” Participants — some wearing sweatshirts, others carrying signs saying “Stand Up for New Castle” — met at Washington Center, then walked together to Butz, where they were asked to spend $20 each.
“I stopped counting at 90, and there were still more people left,” noted Jo Ann McBride, director of Lawrence County’s Tourism Promotion Agency.
The event is to be repeated on the first Saturday of each month, with a different merchant chosen each time.
Butz had been informed in advance that it would kick off the mob series. However, “I didn’t expect this,” said Ken Kauffman, who co-owns the store with his brother, Mark.
“We didn’t know how many would be coming. I told our people it could be 15, it could be 50. This is just wonderful; it’s a very nice downtown outcome.”
In addition, it quickly became obvious that people were not limiting themselves to the suggested $20. One man purchased multiple angel figures totaling over $200.
“They’re spending more than ($20),” Kauffman confirmed. “We get so much support from the community, that’s why we stay. Mark and I both believe in the downtown.
“We do a lot of business on the Internet and the phone, but we still have a lot people who come in. We love it here.”
John Nichols and his wife Alison McNeal live in the city and have been involved in various efforts to revitalize it.
“I love Butz,” McNeal said. “Mr Butz was such a friend of the community; I’m happy they decided to stay here.
“This is fabulous. It offers so much potential. I talked to one lady who was looking a purses, and she said she never knew Butz had purses.”
Pointing to his translucent plastic bag, Nichols showed what the couple had purchased.
“Two pillows for our third floor — and I don’t know what THAT is,” he shrugged, indicating what appeared to be a black, silver-beaded belt.
“I’m attracted to shiny things,” McNeal confessed.
Ann Antognoli also believes it’s important to support the city, and that’s why she joined the mob.
“In the city and the country, you have the haves and the have-nots,” she said. “It’s important for the haves to give back. We’ve been blessed, so I want to do what I can to try to keep the community going.
“The program, maybe it’s flawed, but it’s a program, and when people try to do something good, you should support it.”
Susan Linville, the New Visions committee member who came up with the cash mob suggestion, couldn’t have been more pleased with the initial turnout.
“There are a lot of people who support the community who don’t always voice that support,” she said. “This is a chance for them to do that. It’s a great first start.”
NEW CASTLE —
It was, well, a mob scene.
- TOP STORIES
Police arrest four in Union Township drug raid
Four people were arrested and drugs and a gun were confiscated Wednesday when police raided a house in Union Township. Union Township police, with the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and New Castle police special response team and narcotics unit, served a sealed search warrant at 27 Spring St. just before 6:30 a.m.
Primary 2013: Clarification offered on local voting results
Rosemary Henderson won a Republican nomination for a four-year term on New Castle City Council in Tuesday’s primary.
Primary 2013: Former superintendent earns New Castle board nomination
Voters nominated four candidates for four-year terms in each of Lawrence County’s eight school districts yesterday. New Castle and Ellwood City had candidates running on one ballot only, but all others crossfiled, meaning they appeared on both Republican and Democratic ballots.
Primary 2013 Briefs: Voters stay home in droves
Less than one-fifth of Lawrence County’s eligible voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary. The Lawrence County Board of Elections reported that 9,291 — or 17.1 percent — of the 54,342 eligible voters turned out Tuesday.
Primary 2013: Former mayor wins city council nomination
New Castle City Council will have three new members next year as a result of Tuesday’s primary. Tim Fulkerson and Anthony J. Adamo won the two Democratic nominations for four-year terms.
Primary 2013: Township voters nominate supervisors, auditors, tax collectors
Voters selected their candidates for township offices in Lawrence County Tuesday. Voters in all 16 townships will elect one supervisor each to six-year terms.
Lawrence County Primary 2013
The New Castle News is covering the 2013 primary in Lawrence County with stories, photo galleries and video clips from local polling places.
Primary 2013: Six candidates seeking City Council nominations
Six Democratic candidates are seeking their party’s nominations for three seats in Tuesday’s primary. Voters will nominate two candidates on both Republican and Democratic ballots for four-year terms and one candidate for a two-year term.
New Castle Schools: District answers two state audit findings
New Castle school district administration answered two of the findings in a state auditor general’s preliminary report. The audit, which has not yet been finalized, covered the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. The preliminary report also contains an observation, which the district answered.
New Castle Schools: Finding pinpoints nonpaying out-of-district pupils
New Castle school board members are waiting for the final determinations of a state audit that contained three preliminary findings. Earlier this month the board publicly discussed those findings from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, and the district administration has responded to two of them to the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General.
- More TOP STORIES Headlines
- Police arrest four in Union Township drug raid