March 22 • 09:11 AM

Home & garden show in Imlay City March 21-22

Local businesses network to host 2009 'Spring Expo' at high school

March 04, 2009
IMLAY CITY — A network of area businessmen and women have grown painfully weary of the widespread negativity surrounding the economic downturn.

Now they've decided to fight back by doing something positive for the community, while helping stimulate local businesses.

On March 21-22, the group will host the 2009 Imlay City Spring Expo at Imlay City High School.

The two-day event is the first of its kind to be held in Imlay City, and will feature three-dozen local vendors displaying their goods and services for the home and garden.

Corporate sponsors include: Milnes Chevrolet, Imlay City Ford and Homer Products.

Gene Rosati, vice president of Natural Enhancements of Emmett is one of the handful of Expo organizers. He says response among business people has been excellent. Now the challenge is to get the word out to the public.

"The momentum for this show has really taken off," Rosati says. "With the economy as it is, we all thought doing something locally would be a good idea. We all live and work here and this is where our customers are."

Rosati says the cooperation of the school district and a pair of corporate sponsors has further bolstered the group's efforts.

Local businessmen Rod Soule, Gene Rosati, Ron Stalker and Dan Purvis are helping coordinate the 2009 Imlay City Spring Expo. photo by Tom Wearing.

"We were looking for a place to do it and the high school is the perfect place," says Rosati. "The school has been very cooperative and helpful. We've had a great relationship with them."

Rosati notes that the corporate sponsorships from Imlay City businesses Milnes Chevrolet and Homer Products have provided added impetus for organizers.

While admitting that times are tough for many businesses, group members believe it is a perfect opportunity to adopt some new ideas and strategies for success.

"Our attitude is that we can't and won't give up," says Ron Stalker of Stamptech Inc. Decorative Concrete of Imlay City. "We're optimistic and we're moving forward. We feel the outlook is good and we're hopeful."

Realizing the key to the Expo's success will be getting people to walk through the doors, they intend to add an element of entertainment for attendees.

In addition to a food concession (including hot dogs, pizza and soft drinks) sponsored by Project Graduation, Oopsie Daisy the clown will be on hand to present a magic show and make balloons for the children. Music and karoake will be provided by DJ Wayne Sutherby, who will also emcee the event.

"We don't see how anyone can lose on this," says Rod Soule, owner of Custom Video Services in Attica. "This will be a great way to spend a weekend.

"We're getting a lot of response," he continues. "It's going so well that we're already talking about doing this again next year. We're trying to build some hope for business in the area. Our goal is to make things happen."

Thus far, the following businesses have committed to participate in the show. They include: Natural Enhancements Landscape Design, Better Buy Flag Company, Stamptech Decorative Concrete, Custom Video Services, Priehs Asphalt, Bob Cuny House Repairs, Warnars Chiropractic, Action Fence Company, Climate Guard Inc., Ray Reckling Construction, Primerica Financial Services, Mark Fulcher Therapeutic Massage, Centofanti Chiropractic, Ellen West-Cuny-Mary Kay Products, Dale Ellery, CPA; Smile FM radio, Stitches & Style, Business Networking International and more.

Tickets to the 2009 Imlay City Spring Expo are $5 per person and are free to children 15 and under.

Expo hours are from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 21; and from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.

Some booths are still available for rental at $300, while six-foot table rentals are available for $100.

Free booths will be provided to a trio of youth organizations, including: Benefit for Kids, Young Life and Narrow Way Productions.

For information about the 2009 Imlay City Spring Expo or to rent space, call Gene Rosati at 810-650-1326; Dan Purvis at 810-667-7032; or Ron Stalker at 810-721-2500.

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