When customers had difficulty in navigating around road construction to get to Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards, the Goshen, Ind., business community stepped in to help, according to a Goshen News report.

First, Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman came up with an “apple challenge.” Anyone who could split open an apple with their hands would qualify for a Kercher’s gift certificate.

Stutsman, who learned the skill as a youth, and his wife, Maija, offered the first $100 pledge.

Other businesses hopped on board until a total of 24 gift certificates were awarded with 545 apple-splitters eventually participating. “I put a little tutorial online on how to split the apple,” Stutsman said. “The community, I was absolutely blown away how they responded. … It didn’t solve the whole issue but it helped.”

That spirit, Stutsman said, is the chief reason that Goshen was honored as Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Community of the Year for 2017.

Stutsman accepted the award during a banquet at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. He invited all 2,000 dinner attendees to visit Goshen.

“Obviously, I’m the one that’s stepping up on stage to receive the award but it’s not city government, it’s our community that’s won this. It’s not possible without all the groups doing what they do,” Stutsman said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 2.5% unemployment rate for the Goshen-Elkhart area in September compared to 3.3% a year earlier and a high of 20% in March 2009.

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