Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association (GARMA) 2021 Year in Review
As we look back at 2021, the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association feels fortunate to have had a great, progressive year. New board members were welcomed, a new committee was formed, and leadership changed hands.
In June 2021, Kathy Gilbert announced her resignation as President, and thankfully continuing to serve as a board member. July 1st, Vice President Jennie Dillon assumed the role of President and board member Michelle Lenzi was voted in as Vice President. New board members included Marci Cropp, Debbie Joyner, and Gary DeCroes.
Weather held out beautifully for GARMA’s 54th Outdoor Antique Shows held in May and September. Proceeds from the antique shows are used to purchase, replace, and maintain the Christmas decorations for Gettysburg. The weather also cooperated, except for being a little chilly, for the annual event which is always held the day after Thanksgiving.
Christmas in Gettysburg was made a little more joyful this year for our shoppers as GARMA decided to forego the tradition of the Holiday Shopping Spree which was limited to only one winner of $1000. To generate more fun and excitement this season, GARMA board members were all over town passing out gift certificates ranging from $5 to $20 to random shoppers. Much appreciation was expressed by the recipients and the merchants. $1000 was still given out all total with hopes to increase that amount in the coming year.
President Jennie Dillon continues to write engaging monthly articles for the Gettysburg Times promoting the member businesses and activities happening in the community. GARMA plans to continue building on our successes within the community in supporting businesses with events, social engagement and increased awareness of the amazing and unique businesses located in Gettysburg. Our ultimate goal is to create customer friendly events that will increase Gettysburg’s pedestrian traffic, sales and awareness for member businesses.
GARMA, always looking to have a prominent presence in our community and give back, collected donations the month of November for local veteran organization For The Love of A Veteran. Members collected food items, sundries, and cash donations to be given to this wonderful cause. GARMA is always looking to support and partner with non-profit organizations in our community.
One of GARMA’s ongoing efforts to drive business in Gettysburg is First Friday. As we reflected on this event, we recognized that changes needed to be made to keep this event relevant. A First Friday committee was formed of board members and some of the membership, meeting monthly to brainstorm new ideas. Our goal is to not only encourage our own community to shop, dine and stroll on that day, but to make First Friday a destination event bringing people here from all over the Central PA area.
We must acknowledge those who have helped GARMA continue to be a vital, relevant, membership based organization. GARMA does not have a paid staff, so we rely on our integral board members who volunteer their time to the betterment of this organization and community: Jennie Dillon, President (Artworks), Michelle Lenzi, Vice President (Lele B’s Boutique), Ruth Dunlap, Treasurer (Dunlap’s Restaurant), Kathy Gilbert (Gettysburg Day Spa), Marci Cropp (Rosie’s Collection), Marci Bievenour (Gettysburg Print & Frame), Gary DeCroes (Gettysburg Rental Center), David Kelly (Gettysburg Times), Marcia Wilson (Adams County Democratic Committee), Debbie Joyner (Gettysburg Foundation).
We also thank our membership. Without their continued trust and confidence in GARMA’s abilities, we would not be. Visit our website www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com for a complete list of members, activities and events. If you are a business interested in joining GARMA, an application and payment option are both on our website. We would love to have you on board.
2022 GARMA Members
Chocolate Walk gives community sweet treat
Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association (GARMA) covered the community in a chocolate coating with its annual First Friday Chocolate Walk Feb. 4.
Just in time to prepare taste buds for Valentine’s Day, the First Friday Chocolate Walk encouraged everyone to meet their neighbors at local businesses and grab a sweet treat along the way.
New faces and old friends alike were welcome, despite the cold rain, to enjoy a walk around town and sample the delectable treats offered at local businesses.