Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

Selling Hope

September 29, 2005

Although knickknacks and common household goods lined the tables and filled boxes, the items might as well have been solid gold.

Eudora's community-wide garage sale seemed fortunate from the beginning.

20-month-old Mathias Klinedinst examines some of the products in
the community-wide garage sale.

20-month-old Mathias Klinedinst examines some of the products in the community-wide garage sale.

It began making money before it officially opened.

The sale ran from early Saturday morning until mid-afternoon and raked in $1,168 to help local victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"It's great. I might pitch in the extra 20 bucks to hit the $1,200 mark," said sale organizer Tami Klinedinst.

Klinedinst and fellow organizer Shari Turnbaugh spent the last three weeks forming what they hoped would be a concentrated effort from Eudora to help the devastation in the Gulf Coast.

"It went better than I thought," Klinedinst said. " I was hoping for a thousand. We went above and beyond that."

The organizers sought donations from local businesses and challenged residents to donate both goods and money.

"The community was just wonderful about bringing in items," Klinedinst said.

With preliminary organizational work finished, Klinedinst, Turnbaugh and other volunteers worked late into the night Friday to bring the sale to life.

"People were coming by Friday night, because they couldn't be there on Saturday and they wanted to look at things and they made purchases," Klinedinst said. "We sold about $74 worth of stuff before we even opened."

The momentum of the sale didn't diminish when the sun came up Saturday. If anything, it increased.

The event came on the same day as three events happening around the high school.

People streamed in throughout the day and some even brought in their own items after shopping, Klinedinst said.

The most expensive item of the sale went for $50 -- a freezer purchased by the booster club.

Klinedinst said the most unusual thing to come through was a fuzzy pink sweater.

"We all laughed about it," Klinedinst said.

As the weeks passed after Katrina hit, Klinedinst learned of at least two families in town that might be eligible to use the funds raised by the community.

She said the money would go to help with some of their expenses.

Although Klinedinst said she was pleased with the outcome of the sale, there are things she might have done differently.

"I think we need to do more publicity with putting posters up. Everything else went perfect," Klinedinst said.

The success makes the organizers keen on continuing with the sale.

"We talked about the people that were there and we wanted to do it again next year; kind of make it an annual event," Klinedinst said. "We'll see if we have a disaster then. If we don't, we'll roll the money into a scholarship. It'd be kind of nice to have the money available for people in town."

The fund still has plans in the immediate future. The leftover merchandise from Saturday is currently being stored and will be out again Saturday at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community in Lawrence.

In addition, proceeds from the Eudora Township Fire Department chili feed Oct. 11 will go to the Disaster Relief Aid fund.

"We'll have a nice amount of money to help," Klinedinst said. "It's all from Eudora. It's all us, that's the thing. The community is the best."

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