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‘Erwinopoly’ board game to promote local businesses, raise cancer awareness

A local twist on a classic board game — Erwinopoly — is in the works by the Unicoi County Relay for Life team, said Cindy Lewis, team chair.
“This will be a collector’s item,” Lewis said.
The town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Alderman has committed to purchasing a $200 space on the game board, said Erwin Vice Mayor Glenn Tilson said on Thursday.
“I think the Erwin-based Monopoly game will be beneficial to the town of Erwin,” Tilson said. “I’m glad the town of Erwin was able to participate and buy a square on the board. I think it will be a plus for our town in the future.”
The idea for the game was inspired by the success of Bristol’s Relay for Life “Bristolpoly” set, Lewis said.
“They sold almost 2,000 of the games,” Lewis said. “We decided to try it here, being the close knit community that we are, we thought it would really take off.”
The initial goal was to have the game’s design ready by Apple Festival or Christmas, however Lewis said the completion of the game board would depend on when all the spaces on the board are filled.
Filling spaces on the board requires local businesses and Unicoi County residents to purchase spaces, which could be an advertisement on the outlying spaces or a name in the center of the board.
“Different spaces on the board cost different prices,” Lewis said. “It’s kind of like a forever advertisement; it will be there forever.”
Tilson said the game could have a positive impact on local businesses. “I think it will make people more aware of the businesses that are in town that will be on the board,” Tilson said. “It will help promote the businesses in the town.”
Prices for space on the board range from $50 up to $1,000, Lewis said.
Center spaces are available for $50, which ensures placement of a name in honor or in memory of a loved one.
“I think it will be great for people to be remembered that way,” Tilson said.
The property spaces around the edge of the board are reserved for businesses and cost $200. Included in the cost of the property spaces are deed cards for which Lewis said businesses can provide their own write up and logo. Lewis said corner spaces and railroad spaces are $350.
The Erwinopoly set will also include pewter game pieces that can be made to look like any landmark. The purchase of a customized game piece along with corner space or railroad space is $500
“These spaces are just awesome,” Lewis said. “They can be customized to whatever they want. It’s a collectable.”
The search for those willing to participate in the Erwinopoly game board’s completion has been successful with every business or individual approached so far agreeing to buy a space on the board, Lewis said.
“The spaces are going very well,” Lewis said.
Once completed, Erwinopoly sets will cost $30 and all of the proceeds will go to the Unicoi County American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“This is going to be a huge, huge fundraiser,” Lewis said. “I think we are going to order 750 games initially.”
Proceeds will go into the Relay for Life fund, which supports year-round initiatives like the Hope Lodge program, research and training grants, the Road to Recovery program and a toll-free number for cancer support and information. For more information about Erwinopoly or Unicoi County Relay for Life contact Lewis at [email protected]
“Every step we take and every dollar we make is helping us get closer to the cure,” Lewis said. For cancer support call 1-800-227-2345.

By Kayla Carter
Staff Writer
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