Garage sale to benefit United Way

13 years ago

By Kathy McCarty  
Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Bargain hunters will have their purchases turned into a charitable donation come Oct. 9, when Maine Public Service Company (MPS) hosts their annual garage sale, with proceeds going to benefit the United Way of Aroostook.   
    MPS has been holding the annual fundraiser for nearly a decade.
       “Maine Public Service first began having this annual garage sale in 1999. Since that time, there was only one year that we did not have the sale,” said Ruth Barnes, United Way Campaign Chair for MPS, who also serves as coordinator for the garage sale fundraiser.
     Barnes said the project is a combined effort of many individuals.
      “We have many employees and retirees who volunteer their time to make this sale possible. We sponsor this event to supplement our workplace campaign,” she explained.
       Over the years, MPS staff and volunteers have raised over $10,000.
      “The first year we raised approximately $1,025 and the amount has grown every year since then. Last year was our best year yet. We raised approximately $1,580,” Barnes said.
      All money raised goes to the United Way, benefiting area agencies that assist County residents.
      “For example, one year we designated our money to go toward the C.A.N.C.E.R. Association and a few years it was designated to go to Angel Flight Northeast. No matter which agency we designated our money go to, it always went through the United Way,” said Barnes.
       She said the specific agencies were selected for a number of reasons.
      “The year we designated our money to C.A.N.C.E.R. was in support of an employee going through (cancer) treatments. We chose Angel Flight Northeast because we had a few employees utilizing this service for family illnesses,” said Barnes.
      This year funds will benefit the UWA agency on a more basic level.
       “This year we are supporting the United Way general fund and through that fund there will be a number of agencies supported,” noted Barnes.
      Barnes said public support for MPS’s annual sale has been wonderful.
      “Community folks often call us to see when our sale will be held before we get it advertised. We have a great time with it and we feel it is a great community outreach. It is one small way our employees can give back to the community,” she said.
     Items are still being accepted for the sale.
     “If anyone would like to donate items for the sale, they can call me at 760-2439. We can arrange to pick the items up,” said Barnes.
      The sale is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. — rain or shine — at Maine Public Service Company’s building located at 110 Carmichael St., Presque Isle.