Archive for April 2011
When breaks come around, the Downtown Elon shops lose key customers: Elon students. Even when classes are not in session, local businesses remain open to local customers. To survive, those businesses need to get creative in order to profit while students are gone.
“This will actually only be our second summer with the Internet. I am hoping that this is going to continue into the summer. I think it will, I think we’ll see a really great increase,” explained Michaelle Graybeal, the owner of the downtown Greek apparel store All That Jas.
She credits the internet as one of the ways the store has been able to stay profitable even during the slow summer business season.
“We’re recession proof,” Graybeal said, “Students are great customers.”
Next door to the shop is Town Table, a popular restaurant for many Elon students. Even when work days are slow the staff at the restaurant still prep and serve food the same way everyday.
“We never anticipate a day that’s going to be slow,” Manager Zackery Larid said. “We’re always ready for the business to be flowing in.”
The newest addition to the Downtown area is Local Yogurt. The frozen yogurt shop has only been open for a little more than a month and, while, it has seen dips in sales during spring and Easter breaks, it has not yet experienced the summer season.
“We have eight employees and six of them will be here over the summer. So I’m sure things will kind of slow down with the students,” Manager Mackenzie Brown said. ”However I’m planning to do a couple profit shares with the elementary schools so that way we get more local business.”
Downtown Elon can be a great place to set up a shop, but to survive the summer, businesses need to be creative when they market themselves. They tend to switch from focusing on just students, to making their services more appealing to all local customers.
By Jeff Ackermann
Winter may be over, but people are still heading indoors to tan, which is creating great business for the numerous tanning salons around Elon.
Dennis Dang, manager of Tanning Gallery in Burlington, said his store always has customers, especially at this time of the year.
“We get everybody from different ages, anywhere from 19, 18, all they way to 78,” he said.
Dang is aware of the health concerns surrounding indoor tanning, but said he believes it’s safer to tan inside than outside.
“Sometimes people lay outside for three or four hours and fall asleep and get burnt,” he said. “We’re still trying to put the message out there to understand the balance of the UV ray and the sun exposed.
Although tanning beds are controlled environments, studies show that people who tan are nearly three times more likely to develop skin cancer.
That’s why this trend has caught the doctor’s . Tara Young, Family Nurse Practitioner, said voluntarily exposing skin to radiation can cause visible skin defects.
“You can increase your wrinkles, you can dry out the skin, it takes out the collagen in your skin,” she said.
Tanning outside is better than inside, Young says, but still needs to be done carefully.
“I also think healthy doses of the sun and vitamin D in the sun is a good choice for your health overall,” she said. “With that being said of course, that needs to be done in moderation.”
But Dang said people who tan indoors can still get the same health benefits as long as it’s done in balance.
“It’s the same UV ray,” he said.
Young said it’s still important to take precautions when tanning outside. It’s important to wear sun block with at least 30 SPF and to only tan in fifteen minute incraments.
By Sophie Nielsen-Kolding
The CDC estimates that around 5,000 people die every year from food poisoning in the US, but one produce stand close to campus is working hard to keep the community from getting sick.
Elon Student Caroline Vickerson isn’t afraid of food poisoning. She’s at the Garden Valley Farmers Market today, for the first time, because she thinks the produce will be fresher.
Vickerson said she thinks the food goes “from the farm to the bin that you buy it in.”
That’s why she’s trying out all of the local produce. She said that she likes the feeling of the open air market, and the fact that there are less customers looking through the shelves.
“I feel like there are less people here touching and putting back whereas at a grocery store people are constantly coming in and out,” she said.
Paul Laparra owns the Garden Valley Farmers Market, which is about a five minute drive from Elon’s Campus down St. Marks Church Road. He said that he know’s what he’s getting is safe, because he can track it from the ground to his shelves.
“We’re able to go out to the farms, were able to see how they raise stuff, were able to kind of keep an eye on stuff,” Laparra said.
He said they try to stay with the farmers for as long as possible.
Even though Laparra sells fresh, local produce, not all of it can outlast its short shelf life. He said they end up taking about one-fourth of their produce back down from their stands.
“We go through our produce four, five, six times a day and if it has one bad spot on it, we take it off the rack,” he said.
Laparra said that they donate a lot of food to charity, as long as it’s still ok to eat that same day, but sometimes he has to cut his losses.
“We end up throwing out a lot of stuff,” he said.
Laparra said that not selling the food doesn’t hurt his business, it helps because they’ve never had a complaint about food poisoning.
“We have so many repeat customers so I guess that kind of speaks for itself,” he said.
The Garden Valley Farmers Market sells produce nine months out of the year. To learn more about their business visit: http://www.gardenvalleymarket.com/.
Murray was one of the students who spent the afternoon picking up shingles, trees and other debris from yards.
Homeowner Danny Averitt said he felt lucky to have minimal damage happen at his home.
“I’m luckier than most I guess because I heard there are a lot of people who lost their entire homes,” Averitt said.
Methodist had been working in Averitt’s neighborhood since the Tuesday after the tornadoes hit, and welcomed the help from Elon students.
by Jeff Ackermann
Students and faculty use E-alerts to receive emergency notifications through text alerts, but last week, many received delayed messages about a nearby tornado.
Freshmen Elizabeth Faris received the alert five hours late. She prefers getting alerts to her phone because she says it’s easier than checking her e-mail. She was surprised the alert came out late during an emergency situation.
“It was freaky because I woke up and didn’t get the message on time and it said move away from the window and go to an interior room and my beds right next to a window,” Faris said.
The problem also caught Smith Jackson’s attention, who wrote the e-mail.
“We wouldn’t have these sophisticated systems if we didn’t think it was not important to alert students, in this case to take cover,” Jackson said.
E-alerts allow students to receive emergency notifications on their phones. The website says “its one of the quickest ways to receive critical notifications about safety,” but that wasn’t true in this case.
Vice President of Technology Chris Fulkerson also noticed the problem. He said Omnilert, the notification system, sent the alert out immediately, but speculated that the problem was caused by major cell phone carriers. Customers who switched their network but kept the same phone number experienced a delay in receiving the alert.
Elon is now taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
“What this has told us is we need to do a test once a semester.”
Smith Jackson sent out an e-mail encouraging students to still sign up for the E-alert service, since it sends out emergency information in a timely matter.
To Thomas Girdwood, success is no stranger. Girdwood has collected all types of honors, including several First-Team All-SoCon picks throughout his college career. He is also a 15th round selection of the Minnesota Twins, but Girdwood modestly attributes his success to his mother.
During his freshman season at Elon, his mother, Maggie, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in April of 2008.
“That is my fuel for everything I do,” Girdwood says. “Taking that pain and flipping the switch on and closing out a game or getting under the squat rack, whatever I have to do.”
Maggie Girdwood put together a bucket list after finding out that she was diagnosed with cancer. “She got to make it to one game, my freshman year, and that was her final goal.” Days later, she passed away.
Thomas found out what had happened while the team was traveling home from a series in South Carolina.
After getting the horrible news from his father, he got back on the team bus and rallied his teammates,
‘”Let this bring us together. Don’t let me regret spending the last year of my mother’s life at college, playing this game. Let’s go out there and let’s win it [the next game],’ and (chuckling) I really don’t think we lost two games after that speech. We won our tournament, won the SoCon, went to regionals and I’m pretty sure everyone on that bus either texted me or e-mailed me that night…The feeling of knowing that I had the support of 40 different guys that I could go and talk to at any time, as a freshman, it was a great feeling.”
Although Girdwood lost his mother, he says that he puts all of his grief into his pitching. Thomas has the reputation of turning into a whole new person when he comes out of the bullpen to pitch.
“People wonder what goes through my head; close games, the weight room, whenever, when I’m a different person and I turn into an animal and I tell them that’s a chip on my shoulder…that’s never going to leave.”
Each game that Thomas plays, he does something special after his jog on to the field. Girdwood kneels down behind the pitcher’s mound and says a prayer.
“I take my hat off and set it down with my glove and basically I just thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this game and the family that he’s given me. I pray that he gives me the strength to be a fighter like he gave my mother in the last year of her life and then I pray to my mom and I ask her to be with me; tell her that I need her and I love her.”
As he puts his glove and hat back on, he kisses his necklace, which displays his jersey number (37) as well as a small baseball.
“My mom bought me the necklace with my numbers on it my freshman year and after she passed away, she was cremated and this baseball has some of her ashes.”
After paying tribute to his mother whenever he takes the field, Thomas said he’s not worried about anything and that it gives him the confidence he needs.
“I know it’s more than just me on the mound; I got the guys behind me and I know that I have my mom behind me,” Girdwood said.
Through this tragedy, Girdwood has learned one of the biggest life lessons that a person can learn. “You have to cherish the time that you do have with the people around you – tomorrow’s not guaranteed, for anybody.”
Thomas has experienced something that many his age do not experience. From this, one can appreciate all the people closest.
“Every pitch I throw, I treat it like it’s going to be my last one. Every day of life could be my last day and I take that even further with my relationships with friends and family.”