City encourages shoppers to 'Be Bath, Buy Bath'

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BATH — Seeking to spice up the winter shopping doldrums, the city is once again offering its “Buy Bath, Be Bath” series of prize drawings through April 10.

Customers will earn stickers on a “Be Bath” card by making purchases at four different participating businesses. Once a card has four stickers, it can be dropped off in a red mailbox outside City Hall, 55 Front St., to be entered in a weekly drawing for a $25 or $75 “Gift of Bath” gift certificate.

Cards must be submitted each Monday by 9 a.m., and entries are only eligible the week they are dropped off. Drawings are each Monday through April 16, and multiple entries each week are welcome – the more people play, the better their odds in the drawings.

More than 40 businesses are participating in the event, according to Camille Kauffunger, assistant to the director of the Main Street Bath organization.

“We know that a lot of people will hit up their regular stores, and we also hope that it helps encourage people to go places they may not otherwise go,” she said in an interview Feb. 8.

While most of the merchants are downtown; all are listed at visitbath.com/programs/buybath.

Kauffunger was among those who helped organize last year’s debut event, triggered after Main Street Bath received an anonymous $1,000 donation from a local business owner.

The donation was intended “to test out a promotion that would help stimulate the economy at this slower time,” Kauffunger said.

Beyond that, she added, “it’s been a fun way for Main Street to be able to give back to the community, too.” This year’s “Be Bath, Buy Bath” is supported largely by a second $1,000 donation, along with several business sponsors, allowing more prizes to be offered.

The vouchers are redeemable at more than 70 restaurants, shops, service businesses and entertainment venues.

“It’s an opportunity we give the businesses to have fun with their own promotions, so we’ve been encouraging lots of social media activity,” Kauffunger said.

For example, Patten Free Library (33 Summer St.) is holding its “Love Your Library” campaign as part of “Be Bath, Buy Bath,” selling $1 red hearts through the end of February for patrons to buy and hang on display. Making that donation earns patrons a sticker on their “Be Bath” cards.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.