The Lodge at Blue Lakes Sponsors Hands Up Lake County 2021

Maryann Schmid, one of the owners of The Lodge at Blue Lakes, is passionate about giving back to the community. Her passion for helping others has led her to form 1Team 1Dream, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and small businesses about growth opportunities specific to their industry.

This year marks The Lodge’s second involvement as a major sponsor for this annual Hands Up Lake County event. We are honored to be putting so much time and effort into such a great cause.

Last year, the competition awarded a total of $28,000 in cash prizes. This year, they’ve increased the stakes, and they’re awarding $50,000 in cash prizes! First place is taking home $20,000, second place $12,000, third place $8,000, fourth place $6,000, and fifth place $4,000.

In the first phase of the competition, a total of 50 aspirants submitted their applications. Then just last August 28, 2021, 20 participants were selected to attend the 1-day training and workshop, but only 19 were able to participate. The workshop focused on identifying business goals, objectives, and marketing strategies.

The third phase of the competition is the mini-competition, held last October 23, 2021, where participants were required to present their ideas and unique business plans. Judging criteria for this round was based on how innovative and creative the business plan and idea were and how realistic and valuable they would be to the target market. The 5 participants and 1 alternate who advanced to the final phase of the competition were chosen carefully by judges Sabrina Andrus, Dennis Darling, and Bobby Dutcher.

Congratulations to the following participants who have been selected as finalists for the Hands Up Lake County Business Competition 2021:

Bottlerock Candle Studio of Jennifer Marie Gayda offers healthy superior quality and handcrafted candles – this includes using upcycled wood from past fires, natural waxes, palate, and carcinogen-free fragrance oils. They also provide them in any shape or size.

Party Ideas by Maria Silva is the answer to all your party needs. Whether for kids or adults, they have it. They aim to satisfy customers and give them the best experience when shopping for their party needs by offering eye-catching and colorful items.

Catherine Ann Reese’s love for the beauty that nature and our area offer inspired her to create the Reese Ranch Retreat. She saw an opportunity to offer space that people could use to unplug from everyday life.

Valeri Ann Stallings is the owner of Send Rover on Over Doggie Daycare, Training, Boarding & Grooming. This business offers services of training, boarding, and grooming for dogs of all sizes.

After spending the last ten years working as a baker in the food industry of Sonoma, Ashley Ruth Garrigus has decided to open Wild Hope Bakery to share her love for baking with everyone.

Brianna Elizabeth Thomas is passionate about leatherworking. Her business, Red Feather Leather, specializes in handcrafted horse tack, accessories for the home, bags, and leather goods for everyday use. The judges chose her as the alternate. She will prepare alongside the finalists and be on standby once one of them decides to withdraw their participation.

We look forward to hearing these fantastic business owners pitch their business idea on the final phase of the Hands Up Lake County Business Competition on December 12, 2021, at Konocti Vista Resort & Casino.

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