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Two Harbors businesses partner for pay-it-forward promotion

The Two Harbors Lake Bank visits Norshore Clothing to pay for some customers' purchases on Small Business Saturday as part of their pay-it-forward “Community Strong” campaign. Submitted photo

"You've been LakeBank'd" reads a sign in about a half-dozen photos posted to the Lake Bank's Facebook page.

By now, several Lake County residents have been "LakeBank'd" — a phrase coined by Lake Bank and Harbor Insurance as part of a promotion rolling out over the past few weeks to encourage local shopping and inspire others to pay it forward.

Staff members of the Lake Bank, clad in matching long-sleeved T-shirts reading "Community Strong," have been popping up at various locally owned businesses to carry out acts of kindness.

"We brainstormed for a while and came up with this idea," Lake Bank employee Kiera Wilson said. "We decided to go to some of our local businesses and do good things."

For example, the team went to Judy's Cafe one morning to buy breakfast for the entire restaurant.

"We've gone to Auto Value and paid for a customer's transaction," Wilson said. "We went to Norshore Clothing down the street and paid for a couple of transactions there on Black Friday."

On a particularly cold and snowy morning, the group bought 20 coffees from McQuade's Herbs, Spices and More to distribute to people outside shoveling or blowing snow.

"And we gave one to a busy tow truck driver," Lake Bank employee Steph Aho said.

Some of these actions have encouraged other acts of kindness. According to a Facebook comment, a recipient of a cut and color at Hair Designz, courtesy of the Lake Bank campaign, spread the kindness by paying for another person's purchase at another shop later that day.

As each act occurs, the Lake Bank has been keeping track by taking photos with the recipients, with a big sign reading ""You've been LakeBank'd" and posting them on Facebook with the hashtags "LakeBank'd" and "Community Strong."

"It's really starting to catch on," Harbor Insurance employee Warren Miller said. "It's getting to be where people are watching for us now and looking forward to see where we might pop up next, wondering if they might be next."

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

(218) 834-2141
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