Oh holy print cartridge

Mastering more than Gregorian chant and spiritual contemplation, a small group of Cistercian monks in Sparta, Wis,. are successfully navigating the Information Super Highway.

And, of all things, selling discounted printing, imaging and office supplies.

The story seems too ridiculous to be true. But there it is - LaserMonks.com - and its slogan is "Real Savings. Real Monks. Supporting Real People."

The monks have got a monopoly on spiritual inventory. The Web site lists its printer categories and all its products, right above a link on all the media coverage the Spring Bank monks have received.

Since its inception in 2001, the company has seen explosive growth - from gross sales of $2,000 in 2002 to gross sales exceeding $2.3 million three years later. The monks estimate gross sales exceeding $8 million this year. But unlike its powerhouse competition, almost all of the proceeds of LaserMonks go to charity.

LaserMonks supports an array of charitable works; including, an overseas orphanage run by Tibetan monks; an emergency shelter in Mississippi for abused, abandoned and neglected children; Camp Heartland, a Minnesota-based camp for children with AIDS; and a local family whose house was burned to the ground in an electrical fire. In other words, any money not spent on their meager overhead is used to better communities and organizations around the world.

"Although we pay serious attention to our bottom financial line, we're not about merely making a profit," said CEO Father Bernard McCoy. "Instead, we pay careful attention to how our customers are treated, to offering the best discount possible on office products, and to giving-back to those in need."

The Web site also features cartoon strips of the monastery's dogs, Luxor and Ludwig.

William Planeta, Edward Jones investment representative in Carson City, will host a free one-hour satellite broadcast titled "Hope, Growth and Opportunity: A conversation with Steve Forbes" at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 2176 Highway 50 E.

The broadcast features Steve Forbes, president and chief executive officer of Forbes and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. Forbes and Edward Jones Managing Partner Douglas E. Hill will share their thoughts on the key issues facing investors today during the midyear review broadcast.

To reserve a seat contact Planeta at 841-6056.

Rachel Christensen, an independent consultant with Close To My Heart, one of the country's leading marketers of scrapbooking and stamping materials, has been recognized by the company for outstanding achievement in 2004.

As a reward, Christensen joined Close To My Heart's leading consultants for a cruise around the Eastern Caribbean in April.

"It is really an honor to earn this cruise and be recognized as one of the top consultants in Close To My Heart," Christensen said. "Being a part of this company has been very rewarding in many ways."

Close To My Heart's exclusive products are available through home gatherings conducted locally by independent consultants. Consultants can show their clients how to create beautiful scrapbook pages, cards, and craft projects using Close To My Heart's papers, inks, stamps and accessories. For more information, contact Rachel Christensen at 265-2376 or taznbugzz@charter.net.

The Northern Nevada Development Authority has agreed to take over sponsorship of the Nevada Business Support Network. The NBSN can be accessed through the "Quick Links" located on nnda.org/relocation.asp. Gary Lyon will continue to serve as facilitator for the NBSN and can be reached at 315-3715, or by e-mail at galyon123@sbcglobal.net.

Citizens for Affordable Homes, Inc. hired Toni VanCleve as the director of marketing and events planning. She has been involved in her own business for years. VanCleve become a licensed manufactured home sales representative. She will cover the state of Nevada for CAHI promoting the organization to potential mutual self-help home builders, its image, marketing for our newly established Down Payment Assistance Program and scheduling events. VanCleve is a native Nevadan and has been a Dayton resident for many years. She is a member of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

The PETCO Foundation's recent "Spring a Pet" fund-raiser will lead to a summer of contentment for companion animals across the country, thanks to the compassion of PETCO customers, vendors, and associates who showered the in-store campaign with generous donations, raising a total of $1.83 million nationwide. The three PETCO stores in the Reno-Carson City area contributed $11,250 to this funding. It will be used to support local animal welfare groups like Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation, Another Chance and United States Wolf Refuge.

The fund-raiser ran from March 13 to April 17. This year's giving increased 22% over last year's campaign, which raised more than $1.51 million.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.


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