You’ve heard of Flash Mobs, which started out as events organized via social media where people showed up in a public space (or sometimes private, like a shopping mall) to sing, dance and celebrate… and then put their joyous spontaneity up on YouTube for the world to enjoy. Then, a bunch of punk kids took over the idea and decided to turn them into mindlessly destructive riots and looting.
But when local attorney and out-of-the-box thinker Andrew Samtoy and a few of his buddies at Cleveland Bridge Builders were sitting around after a meeting talking about the negative phenomenon, they came up with a very bright idea.
“We were thinking about how businesses could be ruined just by kids running in and stealing stuff,” said Samtoy. “But what if responsible, law-supporting citizens decided to go into these businesses — or, really, local businesses in general — and spend their money, en masse, to give the business owner a little bit of economic stimulus? Imagine if 100 people showed up at a farmers’ market and each spent $20. That would be $2,000 into the local economy for stuff that we need or want anyway. We’d help businesses grow, we’d make people happy, we’d get stuff for ourselves, and we could all go and have a drink to celebrate afterward.”
When Marty Mordarski, a member of the group, suggested the name Cash Mobs there was no turning back.