Raising money for families

Citywide garage sale benefits community

As the semester winds down, many students are trying to get rid of items they don’t want to take home or find things to furnish a new apartment.

Instead of leaving unwanted furniture and other items on the curb or buying brand new items from a store to decorate a new house or apartment, students can sell or buy gently used items at the ninth annual citywide rummage sale hosted by the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club on Saturday, May 18.

Jeanine Fassl, publicity coordinator for the rummage sale, calls the event “recycling at its finest.”

Fassl, a university program associate in the college of education,  said the community rummage sale began when the Optimist Club was looking for a project that would recycle curbside items that students leave when they pack up in the spring to go home.

“It’s a really good opportunity for mom and dad to say, ‘You really don’t need that, we don’t need to bring that home,’” Fassl said.

Last year about 40 households participated in the sale.  Rummage sale organizer Jim Miller said anyone can participate.

Miller said participants pay a $10 dollar registration fee that goes to the Optimist Club.  With the fee, participants get a yard sign and their name on a locator list that will be available at many local businesses.

Fassl said the locator list has participants’ names, addresses and key items of their sales.  It also indicates if participants will extend their yard sale to start Friday or go until Sunday.

The extra money from the registration fee will go to Optimist Club community projects.

She said the club does many projects to help school-age children.  It started a “youth of the month” program, which sponsors two middle school or high school students.

Members also donate school supplies to Whitewater schools in addition to hats and mittens in the winter.

“The Optimist Club is a friend of youth,” Fassl said.  They also sponsor the annual Easter egg hunt and breakfast with Santa.

In addition to programs that benefit young people, the Optimist Club also sponsors a family during the holidays and donate presents.

“We do a lot of work that goes unnoticed in the community,” Fassl said.  She has been a member for about 20 years.

The rummage sale usually raises about $200 to $300 for the club.

Miller said it also brings thousands of people to Whitewater.  It does help that it is the day of graduation, he said.

There are a lot of people who come into town because of commencement, Fassl said.  It is a good opportunity for the community because of the temporary influx of people.

Fassl also thinks the event is great opportunity for students who want to get rid of some extra items.

“If they’re going to play bagger on Saturday afternoon anyway, they may as well put some stuff out on the yard and sell some things they no longer need to people who could use them,” she said.  “They could pool their resources and make a couple of bucks to tide them over for the summer.”

Fassl said she plans to donate several items to another household for them to sell.

Miller said some families can make more than $1000 during the weekend.

The sale will start early in the morning and end in the late afternoon. Some people go for the whole day while others go just for a short time, Miller said.

Fassl added that some people will recognize there is a community rummage sale that day and have their own without registering.

It still benefits local businesses and the community because of the amount of people in town, she said.

Individuals interested in attending the citywide rummage sale can pick up maps of participating households beginning May 17 at local businesses including the Whitewater Chamer of Commerce, Irvin L. Young Memorial Library, First Citizens State Bank, Commercial Bank and Westsider Citgo Station.

Maps also will be available on May 19 at the Sweet Spot Coffee Shoppe located at 226 W. Whitewater St.

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