Lifestyle

Discount card benefits community

South Colby Elementary School teacher Dave Alexander distributes a quantity of Platinum Dining Cards to sixth graders, who are selling them to raise money for camp. - Charlie Bermant
South Colby Elementary School teacher Dave Alexander distributes a quantity of Platinum Dining Cards to sixth graders, who are selling them to raise money for camp.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

A discount card that provides customers with deals on meals throughout the county as it raises funds for local charities is now for sale.

“We’ve been doing this for 23 years,” said Port Orchard resident Sherry Barnhart, who runs the Platinum Dining Card program. “It helps community groups raise money for whatever they need.”

For $15, local residents get a passport-styled book that lists all of the participating merchants along with a card to track the 170 possible discounts.

Most of the deals are "two for one” offers where the customer buys one meal and gets the second at a discount, or free.

The offers are good during the calendar year, so the books on sale today will expire on Dec. 31, 2010.

Civic groups buy the cards for $7.50 or $8, depending whether they pay up front or go the consignment route.

Dave Alexander, a sixth grade teacher at South Colby Elementary School, said his classes earn several thousand dollars each year. In this case, the money earned by each student is allocated to his or her camp account for that summer.

Alexander said the kids learn responsibility and accountability.

“Kids find that things are more valuable if they earn the money to pay for them,” Alexander said.

Barnhart will sell the cards to any group that wants to raise funds, political or otherwise. She said that school groups and Chambers of Commerce are the biggest customers.

Barnhart said that not just any merchant can be included in the program, they need either an established reputation for quality or a known sponsor that can vouch for them. For that reason, the book serves as a recommendation for quality dining. Similarly, the merchants do not pay for inclusion, as if it were an advertisement.

Barnhart said she breaks even on the card, and does not herself make any profit in the operation.

Those wishing to purchase a card can contact Barnhart at (360) 731-7776 or platinumcard@silverlink.net for a list of groups which are selling the card.

Otherwise they can go directly to the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, or a South Colby sixth grader.

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