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Lansing-opoly puts Lansing on the board

Board game vouchers now available to public—$20 each; supplies limited

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (August 7, 2019) –

“Speeding on Ridge Road. Go directly to the slammer. Do not collect $250!”

“You got lost during the LOOP bike ride. Roll the dice.”

“Big event at Fox Pointe. Pay $50 to attend.”

“Good Neighbor Day float wins first place. Collect $200.”

The Lansing Area Chamber’s newest fundraiser is a customized local version of a familiar board game (a game that we can’t mention by name, because of potential trademark issues). Vouchers for Lansing-opoly are already being sold; residents who purchase a voucher will be able to trade it in for an actual board game once the games are produced and delivered. Expected delivery date is January 2020.

Subtle differences will make Lansing-opoly a distinct yet recognizable game. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

To avoid direct comparisons with the classic game originally marketed by Parker Brothers, certain references have been changed. A large corner space is labeled “Start,” for example, and when players pass it, they collect $250. Players earn money to purchase “inns” and “homes,” rather than hotels and houses. The colors on the board are slightly different from those used in the more familiar game. And the game pieces are generic plastic markers rather than the iconic metal tokens.

Chamber Director Amy Todd shows a sample game from Rochester. The Lansing version of the game will have a montage of Lansing photos on the cover and Lansing locations on the game board. Having the sample available allowed advertisers to visualize what Lansing-opoly will look like when it is produced. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Scrambling for space on the board

Funding for the game was covered by advertisers who bought spaces on the board that will be imprinted with their name and logo. So instead of Boardwalk, Illinois Avenue, and Pennsylvania Railroad, players will land on locations such as Calumet Bakery, Lan Oak Park, and the Lansing Public Library. Thirty-five spaces were available at a range of prices, and they sold out within two weeks.

“There was a lot of excitement about the game,” said Amy Todd, Director of the Lansing Area Chamber.

Word spread quickly about the Chamber’s Lansing-opoly fundraiser, and advertising spaces were completely sold out in two weeks. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Gayety’s Chocolates & Ice Cream chose the Lansing-opoly money as their advertising space. (Photo provided)

Karen Kleine enjoys interacting with Lansing customers at the Minuteman Press counter. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“I jumped on it right away,” said Karen Kleine, owner of Minuteman Press (17930 Torrence Avenue). “It’s just so cool. So different and cool.” Kleine lives in Indiana and she attended Indiana University—so she purchased the Indiana Avenue space. She is eager to see the games produced. “For people to land on a space that says ‘Minuteman Press’ is just so darn cute.” She is proud to be one of the few local businesses in the area that provide design and printing services, and she’s proud to be part of the Lansing business community. “Lansing does a lot to stay community-oriented,” she added. “I want to be part of that.”

Kleine also serves on the Lansing Volunteer Recognition Committee, and she convinced them to buy a space on the board as well. “We don’t really do a lot of advertising,” she said about the committee, “because we want most of our money to go toward the dinner and the awards that we give people.” But she and the committee felt that Lansing-opoly would be a good use of funds. “The space will have the same logo as the pin that we give to all our volunteer honorees, so anyone who has been honored will recognize it, and when they land on it they’ll be reminded of their special night!”

Putting the fun in fundraising

With production costs covered, any Lansing-opoly games that are sold now will help support Chamber programs and activities.

A Lansing board game has been on the Chamber’s list of fundraising ideas for several years, but it didn’t become an active project until Susan Thompson became President of the Chamber Board. Thompson did the research and contacted 521 Promo, a manufacturer of “Custom-opoly” board games as well as other custom board games, card games, and dice games. She was impressed with their good reviews and with how easy they made the process. “So far it’s been fantastic and very easy,” Thompson said about working with 521 Promo. “They seem to be a really great company.”

Shops that are selling the vouchers have this sign displayed. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A limited number of Lansing-opoly vouchers are available at $20.00 each. Lansing residents and businesses can buy vouchers from Chamber Board members or at the following locations:
  • Bragg’s Automotive (2910 Bernice Road)
  • Chamber office (18155 Roy Street, Suite 3)
  • Fine Tune Automotive (17546 Chicago Avenue)
  • Mancino’s (3300 Ridge Road)
  • Ridge Animal Clinic (3667 Ridge Road)
  • Waters Edge (18418 Wentworth Avenue)

“Once the vouchers are gone, they’re gone,” says Todd. It is unknown at this time how many vouchers have already been sold, because the sales from all the locations have not been compiled.

A limited number of Lansing-opoly vouchers are available for $20.00 each. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The vouchers are irreplaceable and nonrefundable, so Todd encourages buyers not to lose them. After the first round of sales, the per-game cost will go up to $25.00.

Getting in on the action

For families who enjoy board games, Lansing-opoly will be a unique and completely playable addition to the game closet. And even for residents who are not “into” games, Lansing-opoly is a fun snapshot of current Lansing businesses and events.

And for old-timers who perhaps still own the Lansing board games that were created in the 1970s (by Trinity Lutheran School) and 1980s (by the Lansing Jaycees), Lansing-opoly will be a nice addition to to their Lansing board game collection.

The Game of Lansing was created in the early 1980s by the Lansing Jaycees. (Photo: Jim Janssen)

More information about Lansing-opoly—including announcements about the arrival of the published board games—is available from the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce:

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.