Angels for Animals sale blazes on

Heat wave, pandemic thin crowds at annual fundraiser in Canfield

Christie Linert, left, and Jessica Hansen discuss a possible find at the annual Angels for Animals garage sale at the Canfield Fairgrounds. The ladies were joined by friend Jayme Fairchild for a “girlfriend day” on Saturday. The annual fundraiser will conclude today with free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Staff photo / Ashley Fox

CANFIELD — While the temperatures rose high on Saturday, three women made their way around pavilions at the Canfield Fairgounds, searching for bargains.

“It’s girlfriend time,” said Niles resident Jayme Fairchild as she carried a large wreath.

Fairchild was accompanied by Christie Linert and Jessica Hansen, both of McDonald.

It was the first time the trio attended the 26th annual Gigantic Garage Sale, organized by and benefiting Angels for Animals.

The sale continues today.

“I was looking online for something to do this weekend and found (this event),” Linert said.

All three ladies were making their way through the items that were organized into six pavilions, with a seventh dedicated to paying for admission as well as a raffle.

Diane Less, founder of Angels for Animals and chairwoman of the garage sale, said that there was no shortage of items donated this year despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Within a span of three days, there were enough items to fill much of the space

collected and sorted, she said.

“If you can’t find a bargain at our sale… There’s just so much good stuff,” she said.

Less said that the pandemic has put a damper on the turnout, both with volunteers and shoppers.

Typically on the first day of the sale, which is normally held in April, Less said about 1,000 people attend. This year, however, only half that showed up.

“Some (volunteers) came out for the set-up because they weren’t too afraid because there weren’t too many people around,” Less said.

To protect everyone, social distancing was encouraged and facial coverings are mandated inside the structures, she said. Signs are posted at each entrance. Some buildings with designated entry and exits.

Linert said that although it was hot inside the buildings, people were still respectful, and the Angels for Animals volunteers were handling everything with ease.

“It’s really hot, it’s sweaty, but they’re doing a nice job. (Shoppers are) being really friendly and staff has been wonderful,” she said.

Mixing the holiday, excessive heat and pandemic concerns, Less said that while summer may not be the best time to hold the sale, this weekend was the only weekend the fairgrounds were available.

“We normally have this sale in April. It’s just a better time of the year,” she said.

Less said she hopes to make $50,000 this year, which will go toward the nonprofit’s general fund.

Like the heat, Less said the sale will blaze on today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with free admission and items half-price. After that, a wristband for $10 will allow shoppers to take an unlimited amount of items.



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