Guided by an SAB pamphlet with clues about local Hillsdale businesses, Hillsdale College students walked the streets downtown Friday with souvenirs and cards from shops they had visited.
“I have never really been in any of the shops downtown but I always kind of drive by and walk by and see them and think, ‘Oh what a cool looking place,’” junior Nate Gipe said. “So this is kind of just an excuse to go in and not necessarily have to buy anything but just go in there and see it.”
The Insider’s Guide to Hillsdale, an event facilitated by SAB on March 1, was based on a similar event in sophomore and event organizer Claire Lupini’s town called “Tourist in Your Own Town.” Lupini said students would get a brochure that got them free entry into museums and discounts at restaurants.
“At SAB, we thought it would be cool if we could connect campus with the community and the businesses downtown,” Lupini said. “There’s just a lot of really cool businesses and places down here that people should know about, and we thought we’d want to highlight that to help the students.”
At Insider’s Guide, students received a “passport” with a list of clues and a list of businesses, which students could match to the clues to direct them on their search. At each business, students received an activity card, did the activity, and were awarded a cookie if they turned in four cards. If they completed all the activities on the scavenger hunt, they entered a raffle to win a basket with an assortment of goods from some of the stores.
“Our goal in attendance was about 50 people, and we hit our goal, so I would say it has been very successful,” Lupini said.
Healthies of Hillsdale employee Rick Kast said SAB approached Healthies to participate, and they “just wanted to help out in any way we could.”
“I’m hoping it brings people in the door that have never been in before so we can have a satisfied customer,” Kast said. “Our goal is for them to come in and have a good experience, have a healthy shake, and enjoy the product.”
Tammy Immel from the Blossom Shop said it is “nice to have the young people come downtown.”
“I like to see them smile,” Immel said. “As far as I know, many of the students have never been downtown before, and they were excited about coming downtown…for the business, hopefully they come down more often and get some flowers or something just to brighten their room, brighten their days.”
Jilly Beans Coffee House employee Lilly Marcavage said the SAB event has worked well for the business and for students.
“We hear a lot about the college students, and we just want to make it a good community for them and contribute to the community to the best of our ability,” Marcavage said. “I think this will help bring the students in and show the students that this is a happy environment. They’re more than welcome to try new things, and we are always happy to help them.”
Gipe said there were a lot of interesting things downtown and he was glad he went.
“I hope that it increases their business,” Gipe said. “I know a lot of these shops piqued my interest so yeah, I just hope it kind of strengthens the bonds of the students and the community.”