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Bookstore’s Cyclone Appreciation Day showcases local vendors

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Ben DeMarais

An array of local businesses and student organizations were on display during the Iowa State Bookstore’s Cyclone Appreciation Day. The event showcased 12 different vendors from the Ames and Des Moines areas from 3–6 p.m. Thursday.

The bookstore’s Cyclone Appreciation Day promoted special deals for students on all of its Apple products and offered a variety of discounts on apparel and merchandise.

“The goal of this event is to really connect with student organizations and local businesses in the area while also promoting some of the special deals we are offering today,” Rita Phillips, director of the Iowa State Bookstore, said. “It’s all about creating a fun atmosphere for students, staff, faculty and Cyclone fans to come enjoy and check out some local retailers.”

The sale also offered buy-one-get-one deals on necklaces, earrings and mugs. All students and visitors who spent $75 at the event received a free champion walking Cy shirt.

One of the several student organizations in attendance was Sketch, a group devoted to promoting outlets of creative expression for writers and visual artists at Iowa State, as stated on the Student Organization Database. The organization works to create and publish a university-wide, student-run literary journal each year. Sketch’s booth at Cyclone Appreciation Day featured a “blind date with a book.”

Members of Sketch covered some of their favorite books in brown paper and wrote their own descriptions on the wrapping to be selected by those who stopped by the booth.

“These events are great to bring awareness and show that small businesses are important and  supported within our community,” Aubry Allen, Sketch member and a sophomore in pre-graphic design, said.

Steve Wright is the owner of Harvest General Store in Baxter, Iowa. Wright’s store sells goods such as organic fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and freeze-dried candy. After both of his sons graduated from Iowa State University, Wright has worked hard trying to partner with the university to have his goods sold in some of the university’s marketplace.

Following success at local farmer’s markets, Wright was invited by the Iowa State Bookstore to be a part of Cyclone Appreciation Day.

“A lot of people today recognized us from the farmer’s markets and came over to talk,” Wright said. 

Wright’s licensed production factory is home to eight freeze dryers, allowing him to create and ship his products out quickly and efficiently.

“I originally got started in this because all of the products being sold here were from overseas. It’s my mission to bring fresh products to all of my customers and the people of Iowa,” Wright said.

Another student organization in attendance was the ISU Creamery, which had a selection of their products available for sale. The ISU Creamery is a student-run and -managed creamery located in the Food Sciences Building. Lindsey Weymouth, an ISU Creamery member and senior in food science, said that the Creamery is in the process of having its product sold within the bookstore itself. ISU Creamery ice cream will soon be available for sale behind the main checkout desk in the Iowa State Bookstore.

The Iowa State Block & Bridle Club was also in attendance for the event, selling meat and cheese as part of a fundraiser for the organization. The Block & Bridle Club is a student-led organization that aims to provide industry knowledge and experience to students interested in pursuing the various phases of animal science as a future career while promoting professionalism and a higher scholastic standard, as stated on the Student Organization Database. The profits from the fundraiser will be used to fund agricultural-based group trips for its members.

Another Ames-based small business at the event was Mayhem Comics. The collectibles and comic book store has remained in its Lincoln Way location for the past 30 years and remains under the same management. Mayhem’s booth handed out free comics and coupons during the event.

“These events are great for the community,” Mayhem employee Kelsey LaBuda said. “It’s been a great experience for local businesses and student organizations to get involved within the Iowa State community.”

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