Skagit Valley College students teach how to ‘Discover Local’

Oak Harbor is packed with local gems, and students from Skagit Valley College’s Phi Theta Kappa club plan to celebrate that with their Discover Local event July 28.

Every two years, the club does an Honors in Action project but this is the first time they will hold a community event. Lauren Cribb, who graduated from SVC in June, came up with the idea for showcasing everything Oak Harbor has to offer its citizens.

“We want to emphasize to the community the difficulties of owning a small business in a world run by corporations, and the benefits of shopping local. Discover Local will also promote numerous ways of getting involved in Oak Harbor, from the many service organizations to nonprofit businesses. Together, we will bring people together in an event all about this amazing community we live in,” Cribb said.

“Anyone who comes should walk away knowing something about their community they didn’t before,” Cribb added.

Cribb and club members have been working on the project for more than two months. The idea stemmed from this year’s Honors in Action topic: the culture of competition.

“Discover Local started off as an event to emphasize small businesses and shopping local. Since that original idea, it has morphed into an event for Oak Harbor to show off everything it has to offer,” Cribb said. The club researched competition and economics and will present their business research at the event.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28, Discover Local will take over Pioneer Way. Local restaurants will be included in Discover Flavor and other small businesses will be part of Discover Community. Local clubs and organizations make up Discover Service; live music and acts create Discover Entertainment. There will be food samples, music, entertainment, information and more.

There will also be a carnival-style game area in Old Town Mall for children, Cribb added. A hotdog lunch and raffle will raise money for scholarships for SVC students. All of the businesses that donated a raffle item will be put on a stamp card, and people who visit every business on the card will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gas certificate.

Putting the event together was also a growing experience for club members, who visited every business involved and introduced themselves to business owners.

“That was a really cool thing for our club members,” Cribb said. “I think it’s giving the members a lot of experience getting in front of people.”

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society of two-year and technical colleges. It promotes leadership, fellowship, scholarship and service.


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