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Vote for The Bargain Barn, Benefit Opportunity Enterprises!

Bargain-Barn-Melissa-Doug-DisplayBargain Barn is participating in the Ultimate Display contest with Melissa and Doug toys! Selected as a finalist from a pool of stores around the nation, help the Bargain Barn win the Grand Prize by “liking” and commenting on their photo submission on the Melissa and Doug Facebook page! If Bargain Barn wins, they will donate $500 worth of Melissa and Doug products to Opportunity Enterprises!

Bargain Barn currently carries the largest selection of Melissa and Doug in Valpo. Beautifully crafted old-fashioned toys, the products promote imagination and education for children of all ages (ages 5-95!) Some of the puzzles and other items from Melissa and Doug are currently used in a variety of departments at Opportunity Enterprises, so OE could definitely use the donation!

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4 Inches of Snow and Your Engstrom Jewelry Purchase Will Be Free!

Engstrom-Holiday-2011Looking to make a jewelry purchase this holiday season? Engstrom Jewelers is running a special promotion, and any purchase made could wind up being free!

Here's how it works: Any purchase made between November 25, 2011 and December 24, 2011 will have the full purchase price refunded (minus sales tax) if the Engstrom Jewelers location where the purchase was made gets 4 inches of newly fallen snow on January 1st, between 12:01 AM and 11:59 PM (a 24-hour period).

Engstrom Jewelers has two locations, one in Valparaiso and one in La Porte. The Valparaiso location got the snow and paid out in 2008, and the La Porte location paid out in 2009. Keep up to date with the snow forecast by visiting!

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Holiday Shopping: How to be Nice, Not Naughty this Season

With black-friday-crowdBlack Friday quickly approaching, gift giving is on my mind. As visions of loved ones opening their presents dance in my head, a less heartwarming thought creeps in: how to deal with poor customer service.

I’m not talking about retailers’ professionalism – I’m referring to impolite (and often downright rude) – customers.

I’ll never forget the year that a new employee was working the day after Thanksgiving at one of my favorite stores. As I stood in a long line for what felt like an eternity, I enviously watched shoppers in the other lines pay for their items and leave. Was I frustrated? Yes. Was I envisioning cookies from the food court as lunchtime approached and my stomach started growling? Of course. But some of my fellow shoppers were acting like they wanted to take a bite out of the rookie!

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Simply Amazing Market to Host Holiday Open House

Simply-Amazing-Hoilday-Market-2010The Opportunity Enterprises Simply Amazing Market will host a Holiday Open House on December 2 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and December 3 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Visitors will be able to enjoy product samples, enter into prize drawings, and take advantage of special sale items and a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more.

The market will also offer free photos with Santa on December 3 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

While shopping in the market, visitors can also enjoy shopping at a Holiday Gift Extravaganza on Saturday, December 3 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, featuring gifts from Avon, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, Thirty-One, Willow House, Tupperware, Mary Kay, and Cookie Lee. Catalog orders will be accepted, and grab-and-go items, along with door prizes and giveaways, will be featured. A portion of proceeds with be donated to Opportunity Enterprises.

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The Annual Lakeshore Holiday Gift Auction is Here!

Lakeshore-Holiday-Gift-AuctionThe Lakeshore Holiday Gift Auction is back and better than ever! We have HUNDREDS of great items waiting for you to bid on! Things like sports collectables from Notre Dame, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Blackhawks and many many more of your favorite sports teams. Memberships and golf packages from the Youche Country Club, The Brassie, Valparaiso Country Club and more! We also have TONS of gift cards from restaruants all over the region and Chicagoland!

Make sure you register now at so you don't miss your chance to bid on these and MANY MANY more great items! You don't want to miss what we have in store for you this year. You'll be able to fill your Christmas shopping lists for all your friends and family AND pick up some great things for yourself in the process.

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Get A Jump On Black Friday

porter-county-parks-and-recPorter County Parks and Recreation and Purdue Extension Porter County are teaming up to deliver a free seminar on everything you need to know about getting ready for Black Friday Specials!

Join us at the Sunset Hill Farm’s Interpretive Center, 775 Meridian Road, Valparaiso, IN on Wednesday, November 16th from 9am-10am or 7pm-8pm to learn a few strategizing techniques for the best ways to score great deals this holiday shopping season!

Get ahead of the crowd and cut down on holiday stress by learning some time and money saving tips! This session is free and open to the public. Please call Porter County Parks at 219-465-3586 to pre-register.

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Holiday Sales Expected to be Up 2-4 Percent, Purdue Expert Says

PurdueLogoRetail sales in the United States are expected to increase 2 percent to 4 percent this holiday season over last year, which is surprising given the state of the economy, says Richard Feinberg of the Purdue University Retail Institute.

"With 9 percent unemployment and 7 percent underemployment - people who have given up or are working below the radar and are not counted as unemployed - the fact that we will have an increase in holiday sales is a miracle," he says.

Last year's sales were up 5 percent over 2009, and holiday spending this year is expected to total $475 billion.

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