Local organizations take advantage of Route 66 Garage Sale weekend for fundraising

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[June 12, 2017]   LINCOLN - On Saturday local organizations took advantage of the Annual Route 66 Garage Sales to hold garage or rummage sale fundraisers. The day was good for those out shopping, as there was good breeze to refresh from the heat that came in the later part of the day.

Around the community folks came from out of town and in town to visit the more than 100 sales taking place. In Lincoln, there were 97 sale locations posted, but in places such as the Cronin Brothers VFW and Postville Park numerous vendors set up their booths, making the exact number of sellers unknown.

For some local organizations, the weekend offered them an opportunity to raise money for specific projects. Among those was Grace Lutheran Church, located just outside town on Illinois Route 121. Advertised as a “multi-family” garage sale, the sale could actually have been called a “church family’ garage sale. According to Pastor Daniel McQuality, the church building was filled with items brought in and given to the church by members. The church members had searched through their personal belongings and donated items to the sale that would raise money for a new church building someday. McQuality said the church is hoping to find a location in Lincoln where they can move.

The church is also holding a shoe drive that will benefit the building fund. The pastor explained that shoes are being collected, which will in turn be sold for 40-cents per pound to an organization that provides foot wear to the underprivileged third-world countries. For Grace Lutheran, the dollars collected through the shoe drive will lead them a little closer to their building fund goals.

The shoe drive will continue through the month of July. In the meantime, there were a number of shoes on display at the garage sale, some looked brand new, and they were all being sold for only $5 per pair.

Back in town, the Daughters of the American Revolution were holding a fundraising sale at the home of Diane Osborn. Diane explained that the money collected through the sale would go into the organizations community service projects, with no particular project in mind at this time.

Osborn said that the DAR is a small group in Lincoln, so it is a little difficult for them to plan and organize big fundraisers. However, a garage sale worked well for them. At the sale on Saturday, those who stopped by found a garage and drive filled with interesting and useful items. From gardening supplies to home decor, seasonal items, and some amazing collectibles, the sale was a treasure hunter’s delight.

At the VFW, vendors were set up outside and inside the Freedom Hall.

Outside one big highlight of the day was the Marine Corp pork chop or ribeye sandwich sale. The booth was well manned, and even though it was mid-morning, customers were buying! The sandwiches were being sold with a bag of chips and a cold soft drink. The veteran Marines said they were planning on being busy and that what they were offering was good food that can be consumed at any time of day. They were hoping to be busy throughout the day raising funds they will use for their community service projects, such as Toys for Tots.

Inside the VFW there were a number of home based businesses alongside some well-known, high-end crafters. Walking around the room, again one had no trouble finding plenty of things to look at and possibly buy, including the dessert to follow up the sandwiches being sold outside.

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The St. John United Church of Christ Veteran Celebration Committee was hosting a bake sale that included some fantastic looking sweets. The gals working the table also explained that the sale included a variety of pies. Photos were on display, and the gals said if anyone wanted to see one of the pies, they would happily run and get one. On a busy hot day, pie surely would be a must have for many a customer.

Dollars made over the weekend will go toward the expenses of the annual Veteran Celebration. The church host a free to veterans dinner event the second Sunday in November.

Just down the street at Postville Park vendors were set up selling their wares and the park playground had been supplemented with inflatables for kids to enjoy, including a big slide that is always popular.

If kids got too hot playing, WLLM radio had a simple solutions, bottled water, raising money for the Christian radio station.

The Mill on Route 66 was also among the participants in this year’s garage sale. Bob and Barb Wilmert were the volunteers on hand in the morning shift. Barb explained that there were some nice offerings in their sale, but they had really hoped that being included in the sale would draw folks to the museum for a look around.

Among the offerings at the Mill was a large collection of Pez dispensers. Pez are very collectible, and the Wilmert’s were hopeful that they would see some good sales over the weekend. The money brought in from the garage sale will go directly into the Mill operating fund. The Mill has no general funding source to assist with things such as the utility bills, so fundraising efforts are always ongoing for the daily operations.

Throughout the community, it appeared to be busy at all the sale locations, and also at many local retailers, especially the restaurants, fast food, and convenience stores, such as the Fifth Street Food Mart aka Cliff’s on Fifth. In the middle part of the day, at one point in time, every parking spot was full and there was a car at nearly every pump, demonstrating that events such as this are good for the local economy.

At every location LDN stopped, sellers seemed to be pretty satisfied with the turn out, and were hopeful that at the end of the sales on Sunday, they would have little left of box up and put away.

[Nila Smith]

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