Michelle Ryburn of Elmhurst won a $500 shopping spree during Elmhurst City Centre's Hometown Holiday Walk last Friday.
Shoppers braved the weather to enjoy the warmth of City Centre, where more than 40 merchants offered specials, free gift wrapping, discounts and their own hometown hospitality.
Ryburn was excited to get much of her holiday shopping done locally and said she was planning to get herself a little treat with the extra money.
But it wasn't only Elmhurst residents taking in the downtown last weekend. Christy Sopko of Elmhurst City Centre shared this note from an out-of-town visitor who was so impressed by City Centre and Elmhurst’s hospitality that she sent a special thank you to the City Centre office:
"I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you, the residents of Elmhurst, and businesses for making two strangers very welcome.
"My friend and I get together on our birthdays. We live fairly far apart—she lives on the south side of Chicago, and I live in unincorporated Elgin, and she finds towns for us to meet in to do lunch and shopping. The other towns have been very nice, but we found Elmhurst to be exceedingly welcoming. If we stopped anyone on the street for help, they were helpful and kind. When I was waiting in line for the goodie bag, the lady standing in front of me turned around and started a conversation. And the cutest little lady with the prettiest green eyes I've ever seen, stopped to chat as I was having a smoke, enjoying the scenery of snow and I think they were penguins, and listening to the carolers near your office.
"We happened to meet girls from your office on the street, and they not only recognized us, they gave us help and ideas for fun shops to visit. We forgot to go to the place with High Tea, but did manage to go to the coffee/tea shop. We had a relaxing chai tea latte!
"The shop owners were welcoming and friendly. I even found Lanzi's candy at the shop next to the coffee shop!! I was so excited, as I had spoken to my brother a couple of months ago, reminiscing about Lanzi's candy and how we didn't think it was made anymore. The woman in the shop said a man had started making them again. I forgot to use your coupon, though! Well, I don't even know if that business participated in it, so it doesn't really matter!! MY mistake!!
"BTW, we ate at Wok 'n Fire. We loved our waiter! He was so helpful, fun and he even gave us a coupon for the restaurant!!!!
"Thank you ALL for making our visit such a memorable one. I also want you all to know I RARELY write such notes!
Sincerely, Lori Roth"