Mob rule: An unforgettable night in Green Lake

Several kids grab soft drinks at Crossroads Market during the shopping blitz. From left are Peyton Zamzow, Derek Zamzow, Blake Meiborg and Caleb Meiborg.

by Aaron Becker

Customer Fran Hill was all smiles as she grabbed the nearest shopping cart and marched into the warmly lit store.

“We should do this every month!” she beamed. “You see all these people you haven’t seen in ages.”

For many in Green Lake’s close-knit community, entering that supermarket felt like a cup of homemade soup. It seemed like everyone in town suddenly showed up to fill their carts and their souls …

… because, more or less, the whole town did the night of Dec. 2, in a uniquely spontaneous way.

Coincidence isn’t the right way to describe it. Instead, perhaps it was something of a Christmas-season miracle — a real-life version of the final scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when all the friendly commoners emerge and open their wallets to help a struggling friend.

Here, the focus was not the beloved George Bailey, but a prominent Green Lake business at the crossroads of success: Crossroads Market.

The rush of customers started with Loni Meiborg, a marketing expert and former Green Lake chamber director who rallied the community.

It seems the business has been struggling of late, and Meiborg made no secret of that as she used social media to orchestrate a giant shopping mob …

Read comments/anecdotes from 10 different community members in the full story, only in the Dec. 10 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.