Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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12/4 MI Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

December 03, 2013

We've turned the calendars to December — a month that promises colder weather, a few less leaves to rake, and time to get together with friends and family to celebrate all things Christmas.

The Friends of the Monmouth Library's holiday book sale begins Thursday evening, with a special sale from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for members only. Regular sale hours are Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Here's your opportunity to find great gifts for everyone on your Christmas list — and something for yourself, too. Proceeds from the sale help pay for programs for kids and teens, and benefits our entire community.

The 46th annual Western Oregon University Holiday Tree Lighting is Friday on campus beginning at 6 p.m. This year's theme is "Illuminating Traditions." This is truly my favorite community event of the season and a wonderful evening is guaranteed. Be sure to dress warmly and enjoy the parade and school programs that help make this a very special evening for all.

Last week's Itemizer-Observer was filled with news of school and community events, and it was a good opportunity to catch up with local events and make plans for upcoming programs. There were also more advertising pages than usual, and reading through those pages made me realize just how many goods and services that our neighbors provide for us — and they're right in our own backyard.

The stores and shops in MI Town have something for everyone and at prices we can all afford. The owners may live down the block or around the corner. The store may have a corporate name on the sign in the parking lot, but the employees are our friends and neighbors, and that's a good enough reason for me to buy goods and services there. When we spend our money in our communities, everyone benefits.

Before, after — or even during — shopping adventures, MI Town's restaurants and cafes are wonderful places to meet, greet, relax and enjoy the company of friends. There's something to please everyone, and prices are reasonable as well.

Our schools and local services receive tax benefits from the merchants' revenue; we all support a business that gives back to our community in many ways; and we get an opportunity to meet and greet our friends and neighbors. Whatever we can afford to spend on goods and services stays in our community — and we can avoid the freeway traffic and the endless lines for finding a spot in big parking lots. We can relax a little while and enjoy being right in our own backyard.

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