Lansing's Old Town Leading Online Ikea Contest

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If a guy in a gorilla suit on Grand River Avenue doesn't turn heads for a cause, than really--what will?

"Guerilla tactics," Rick Preuss, the guy in the gorilla suit, laughs. "Trying to get a little media attention."

He is talking about attention for his Preuss Pet Stores' neighborhood--Old Town--which as of late Wednesday, stood in first place in an internet contest on furniture maker Ikea's website. They are sponsored a contest for the most unique small town with a prize of $50,000 in furniture.

"We have a nice classroom back there but it sure would look nicer with a little extra furniture," Preuss said.

Old Town was working hard Wednesday to maintain first place. Commercial Association employees were in East Lansing using a busy move-in day at MSU to hand out fliers asking people to vote online.

"We have been emailing everyone we know," Jamie Schriner-Hooper, Old Town Commercial Association president, says. "Making phones calls, posting on websites."

There were mobile voting stations set up at two businesses. There are 10 cities in the running. Media, Pennsylvania had the second most votes late Wednesday.

To vote, go to

Grand Ledge is also in the running, but about 6,000 votes behind Old Town.

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