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Downtown businesses mobbed in time for the holidays

On Saturday, Nov. 10, shoppers "mobbed" Fox Den Books on Main Street. Those who participated include, from left: Front row: Nellie Moore, Jordan Torrez, Dan Torrez, Chantele Torrez and Mila Torrez (in stroller); middle row: Suzanne Van Mele, Collette Sakschek, Bettsy Terlinden, Tyler Rusch, Shelley Rusch, Avery Rusch, Dana Worrick and Mr. Worrick; back row: John Shafer, Allan Hanson, Laura Koester, Eunice Beauchman, Nan Lambert, Ben Sakschek, Karl Sakschek, Tammy Tollefson, Barb Greub, Val Sowa, Kurt So...

Early the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 10, a mob of about 45 people formed a mob and walked down Main Street with one objective -- to shop.

The lucky recipient of this huge influx of customers was the new Fox Den Books, 120 South Main St.

After shopping at Fox Den Books, the mob decided to visit a service business and went to South Fork Café, 116 South Main Street.

Sponsored by The Awareness Project (TAP), the cash mob was originally suggested by Eunice Beauchman, co-owner of Two Bears Painting, to Nan Lambert and Julie Draves of TAP.

A simple way to explain a cash mob is: A group of people get together, with cash in hand, head to a local store and buy things.

With the winter holidays coming up, Lambert hopes this concept will help to keep money spent local.

The group plans to "...spend a bunch of money at a local business to keep it local," said Lambert.

According to Lambert, the idea to mob local stores is not a new idea nor is it a national trend -- though she did point out that shopping locally has become a huge trend.

"We want to do that -- locally," she added. The mob also works great with TAP's idea to do community organizing long term.

TAP, which started earlier this year, has "...worked with the local community to develop a consensus about what matters to River Falls," said Lambert.

"This is where we live, this is our community," said Lambert, "These are our neighbors and River Falls needs a vibrant downtown."

She went on to say that downtown has wonderful retail stores, many who feature "recycled" or used items for sale.

Last Saturday's cash mob, according to Lambert, had two purposes: 1) to welcome Fox Den Books to Main Street, and 2) to make shopping locally visible.

The cash mobs are also about "...coming together as a community," said Lambert.

Lambert sees it as a fun activity, "We get to gather together, Christmas shop and support local business," she said.

TAP has three more cash mobs scheduled before Christmas on the following Saturdays: Nov. 24, Dec. 8, and Dec. 22. Each mob will meet at the TAP office, 208 South Main St., at 1 p.m.

Stores to be mobbed will be decided on by the group. As they did on Saturday, the mob may decide to visit a service business after hitting a retail business.

After the holidays, Lambert would like to see the cash mobs continue.

Lambert said: "It keeps us together as a community -- it's fun and it's good for the local economy."

For more information about TAP or the cash mobs visit: or Facebook at "The Awareness Project."

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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