Builders Show draws crowd

March 19, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sisters June Fahnestock and Beda Stouffer were walking side by side down an aisle at the 22nd annual Franklin County Builders Show Friday, the first day of the three-day weekend event in the Franklin Center shopping center on U.S. 30.

Both were carrying large plastic bags filled with the "freebies" they were collecting from vendors as they made their way through the show.

It's a scene that will be repeated over and over in the weekend event.

"This will be our biggest show by far," said Tom Hanks, executive director of the 450-member Franklin County Builders Association, sponsors of the show.


"Last year, we had 165 vendors," he said. "This year, we have 222. We have more vendors because we were really aggressive in marketing the show this year. There's more of everything. We have a tremendous variety this year."

About 12,000 people attended the show in 2004, Hanks said.

"This year we're hoping for 15,000," he said.

The show is being held in a former 55,000-square-foot Lowe's store in the shopping center.

"This is the second year in this location," Hanks said.

The list of vendors includes home builders, area banks and mortgage companies, appliance dealers, landscaping and tree companies, replacement window firms, garage door, awning and flooring companies, plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors, fireplace and stove outlets, lumber companies, and a Tupperware booth run by Mary Ann Ogburn of Chambersburg.

"This is our first year here," Ogburn said. "We thought we'd fit in with the kitchen cabinet dealers because Tupperware fits into cabinets."

Carol Neil was in a booth occupied by the R. Perry Fence Co. of Fayetteville, Pa. Neil's side of the booth handled the DogWatch hidden fence systems. Dogs wear an electronic collar that gives them a small electric jolt when they try to cross a buried wire. Neil said her two dogs use the fence.

Dave Sommerville is a sales representative for Precast Systems Inc. of Greencastle, Pa. He was describing the company's precast concrete foundations that are brought intact to the building site.

They are made in a factory in Williamson, Pa., Sommerville said.

"We can set a foundation in a day," he said.

Norma Bigham was sitting in a chair selling $10 raffle tickets for a $1,500 John Deere lawn tractor. The machine was donated by a local dealer. She said she's hoping to sell $2,000 worth of tickets at the show. The money will go toward the construction of a new $3 million library building to replace the Ragged Edge Library in Chambersburg, she said.

"The drawing will be held here at 3 p.m. Sunday," Bigham said. "We'll have the tractor here, too."

If you go

What: 22nd annual Franklin County Builders Show.

When: Today, noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Franklin Center, Chambersburg, Pa.

Directions: Take Interstate 81 to exit 16. Take a right onto U.S. 30. Go one-half mile to Franklin Center shopping center on right.

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