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Second annual South Georgia Home Showcase a “grand slam”

Published on February 19, 2019

By Eve Copeland, The Tifton Gazette

TIFTON — The second annual South Georgia Home Showcase, sponsored by Conger LP Gas and Short and Paulk Building Supply, was held Feb. 11-12 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Dan Richardson, president and CEO of Conger LP Gas, said he was very pleased with the turnout.

“It truly exceeded our expectations,” he said. “It was definitely a grand slam.”

Jay Short, president of Short and Paulk, agreed.

“We felt like we were extremely successful,” he said. “We were very, very pleased with the event as a whole.”

They thought that there were anywhere from 1,800 to 2,000 people in attendance during the two day show.

The two day event was split between contractors on Feb. 11 and the general public on Feb. 12.

“We were able to show a lot of new products,” Short said. “We brought a lot of suppliers down that were showing new products on the market.”

Short said that he liked being able to bring in product experts to Tifton for locals to talk with.

Richardson said that this year there were more people who were seriously looking for home ideas rather than just casual browsing.

“The exhibitors were telling us that it seemed like they had more people this year than last year that really had good questions and were looking into the supplies,” he said. “I know that we talked about the Rinnai tankless water heaters ad nauseum.”

Short and Richardson both said that the educational classes and demonstrations were a big hit.

“I’ll put it to you like this,” Richardson said. “We put 50 chairs out for people and we thought that would be a good number. I looked down there and they were standing two and three deep around the outside trying to watch.”

He said they brought in 30 more chairs and those were filled up.

“It didn’t matter whether it was Laurie Jo, whether it was Carmen Johnson or whether it was Chip Reed,” he said.

He said that they were thrilled with the response to the new features they added.

Short said that the fundraising for Ruth’s Cottage and Literacy Volunteers of Tift County went very well. Entry to the event was $10 for anyone who didn’t pre-register, with all of those funds going to Ruth’s Cottage. A concession stand gave out free coffee and donuts in exchange for donations to Literacy Volunteers.

“That helps people in our community, too,” Short said. “Both of them tied into the event. We were trying to provide education and knowledge on building products to our customers and educate them about new products coming out on the market. Literacy Volunteers help educate our workforce. They help people get their GEDs and learn English as a second language and get people ready to get back in the workforce. Ruth’s Cottage is doing a building project, and we were having a building show, so that tied in. We were able to do two good things at one time.”

Richardson said that the event raised approximately $2,000 for Ruth’s Cottage and $1,500 for Literacy Volunteers of Tift County.

“That’s the nice thing about doing this with somebody local,” said Richardson. “We both have the same idea about how we should do business and that we should do business ethically. Whenever you do something like this, part of it needs to go back to the community. That was something that was real important to both of us. ”

Richardson and Short are already planning for next year’s home show.

“It made us realize that we need to look even more before next year at some things that would have more female interest,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of things between now and next year we’re going to try and do to make it better.”