The Methow Conservancy has launched an online campaign called “Spend a Ben for the Methow Valley,” asking people to pledge to spend money in any local business (from Pateros to Mazama) to help the community recover from the effects of fires, floods and power outages this summer.
A “Ben” is short for a Benjamin, or a $100 bill, on which Benjamin Franklin is featured.
“In addition to the devastating losses that homeowners and the natural landscape suffered this summer, the local business community also faced tough times as visitors stayed away,” Methow Conservancy Executive Director Jason Paulsen said in a press release. “The local business community here has always been so generous in their support of our conservation work that we just felt it was the least we could do to try to encourage people to remember the recovery of the local Methow economy as they make spending decisions this fall.”
People are invited to go to a special Spend a Ben website — methowconservancy.org/spendaben — and pledge an amount that they will commit to spending at a local business between now and the end of the year. Pledgers are on their honor to actually spend that amount and they can do so at any business they choose. Participants will get a Spend a Ben in the Methow bumper sticker and their name listed on the Ben Spenders honor roll.
The campaign includes artwork by former Methow Valley resident Baylie Peplow, now with Red Umbrella Designs in Seattle.
In less than 24 hours after the campaign was launched last Thursday (Sept. 11), more than $87,000 was pledged, according to Sarah Brooks, the Conservancy’s associate director.
“We really hope people will help us spread the word about this effort and that soon enough we’ll be seeing Spend a Ben stickers being proudly displayed all over the state,” Brooks said.
The Conservancy doesn’t earn anything from the campaign. “It’s just the right thing for us to do for our community,” said Paulsen.