Students, faculty, and staff gathered to experience quite a spectacle on September 18th as over a dozen local businesses and organizations lined the perimeter of Attallah Piazza.  The unique booths full of free samples, games, and prizes made the 3rd Annual Merchant’s Day, hosted by Chapman’s Office of Community Relations, an enjoyable time for those who attended.

The sunny day of the event was filled with people mingling around each of the different tables, giving all of the merchants a chance to convey what they do and why their services are of benefit to members of Chapman University.  The largest ever number of attendees for this year’s Merchant’s Day is a testament to students’ growing interest to get involved and support the surrounding community.  Local businesses and organizations met the students with smiling faces and enthusiasm as they talked about everything they have to offer.  With giveaways such as gift cards, speakers, and even a surfboard all the way from Hawaii- as well as prize wheels galore- there was no shortage of fun and excitement for all.

“The event was an overwhelming outreach success for us” says Linda Cundiff, executive director of the Orange Public Library Foundation.  The Library was “thrilled with the response” to the signups for library cards as well as for its Seed Library; which is a collaboration with Orange Home Grown that that allows members of the community to partake in a free exchange of seeds from neighbor to neighbor.

The students not only partook in the activities and giveaways provided at the booths, but also took interest in conversing with the representatives and learning about how they can support the local businesses and organizations in Old Towne.  Each of the businesses and organizations had many opportunities to share what makes them a special piece of the local community and how they reach out to help those associated with the university in return.

Cundiff states, “We had so much fun and the students were so enthusiastic,” and this seemed to be the general response from all of those who participated.  The students as well as the vendors saw this as a positive experience and expressed their desire to participate in Merchant’s Day in the following years to come.