Clicking for cash

Monday, January 16, 2012

Much has been written about the evils of the Internet: it is addictive, there are nasty things and dishonest people lurking about and spending too much time online is hard on your eyes and contributes to a sedentary lifestyle and the health risks associated with that lifestyle.

As is the case with nearly anything and everything in life, their are risks and benefits associated with the Internet. Moderation and common sense will go a long way to make sure you safely enjoy the wealth of knowledge and entertainment that is available online.

As a marketing tool, the folks at Reader's Digest are once again running an online contest, We Hear You America. The community with the most votes March 1 can win a prize of $50,000. In addition to the top prize, 17 other cash prizes will be awarded in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Jessica Lindgren of the Le Mars Convention and Visitor Bureau, along with city council member Delana Ihrke and Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street are spearheading the Le Mars push for votes.

If money is awarded to the city, half of it will go to replace outdoor Christmas lights and half will go to the project to provide lighting to outline the rooftops of buildings in downtown Le Mars.

Voting is simple. After registering on the website, http://wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com, you will be able to vote by entering a code that appears on the page. This is a security measure used by many websites to ensure that a human, not a computer program, is entering the data. You can vote as many times as you like.

When you are registering, take note of the checkboxes near where you enter your personal information. If you don't want to receive information from Reader's DIgest or other firms, be sure to uncheck the boxes.

Then you simply enter your email address and begin voting. There is no limit to the amount of times you may vote.

Currently, our neighbor to the east, Lake City, Iowa (population 1,578) is in first place. Le Mars is in 33rd place and needs a lot of help to finish in the prize money.

It's a painless way to help improve our community.