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Council OKs Second Year Of RAD Funds

Christmas shopping got a lot less stressful on the wallet with the Oakdale City Council’s approval of this year’s RAD card program just in time for the holiday shopping season to begin.

Council members were happy to help administer some holiday cheer with the approval to allocate $710,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to the RAD card program owned and operated by the Downtown Modesto Partnership that turned out to be wildly successful in its debut year.

City Manager Bryan Whitemyer explained, “You double your money with an electronic gift card. If you upload $100 to your electronic gift card, we will double your money. You turn that $100 into $200.”

The program is run through an app users can download on their Android or iOS phone and a list of participating outlets are listed for the users’ shopping convenience. Deposited user funds must be used within two years.

Whitemyer added, “It’s pretty easy to use but essentially it’s a program to support local businesses.”

The program was created to help support the mom-and-pop businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. Large retail stores will be excluded from the app.

“It’s a great program,” Mayor Pro Tem Christopher Smith said. “Really fantastic.”

Whitemyer said the goal is to have the program up and running by Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Last year, the RAD Card program was used with great success to deliver $250,000 in relief funds to downtown businesses.

That success has encouraged the City to expand the availability of these funds to small businesses located throughout the incorporated city limits of Oakdale.

The RAD Card offers dollar-for-dollar matchable funds of $25, $50, $75 and up to $100. More information about the RAD Card program and how to download the app can be found by visiting

In other business at their Monday night meeting, Nov. 15, the council approved a special event application submitted by Justin Badger for a concert event in the amphitheater at the Oakdale Community Park on Saturday, Dec. 11. Hours for the event are from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and it will also include a canned food drive for Community Sharing and other local foodbanks.

The concert will be a free, family friendly event and feature five local bands playing a variety of rock music featuring vocals, guitar, bass and percussion.

Attendees are encouraged to donate nonperishable canned goods upon entry.

All canned goods collected will go back into the community through Oakdale Community Sharing and other local foodbanks.