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Borough rallies behind sale to raise money for Katrina victims

September 11, 2005|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, PA.

The event was billed as a yard sale, but it was a lot more than that.

While several families on one street set out an assortment of clothing, dishes, games and books, there also was food, a few classic vehicles and a spirit of caring and giving.

Proceeds from Saturday's multifamily yard sale on Beech Lane in Mercersburg will be donated to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Before the sale, Xavier Frisby, 7, and his brother Syrus, 3, went through their toy box and picked out toys to sell.

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"We did it to help the people that are flooded and had a hurricane," Xavier said. "We're trying to make money for them."

Xavier put his "Ninja Turtles, a lot of cars, books and one piece of jewelry" on the table in front of his house, where his mother, Arika Frisby, waited on customers. Syrus sold small cars and his SpongeBob SquarePants pillow.

The driving force behind the sale was Jo-Ellen Schaub, who lives across the street from the Frisby family. While watching television last Friday, she came up with the idea for a yard sale and started making phone calls, she said.

"It took on a life of its own," Schaub said. "We got calls. People wanted to do something besides just give money. This is a long, long-term problem we have to work on."

Schaub was the program director for the Franklin/Fulton County Crisis Intervention Program and supervisor with the Franklin/Fulton County Mental Health/Mental Retardation program before health problems forced her to leave both jobs and her position on the Mercersburg Borough Council.

She said she loves working with people.

For years, she has donated baby items to Pregnancy Ministries, Newborns in Need and Touching Tiny Lives, and made lap robes for veterans' retirement centers.

Many of Schaub's crocheted afghans, pillows and baby items were for sale, along with baskets of baby items she assembled.

The mayor, the police chief and at least one borough council member joined about a dozen other volunteers to set up and run the sale and food stands.

Police Chief Larry Thomas was instrumental in making the event happen, Schaub said.

"He did 101 little things and 50 big things to pull people together," she said.

Thomas brought his vintage cars, including his 1964 Ford, which is a replica of the police cruiser on "The Andy Griffith Show." He also brought a 1929 Chevrolet truck inspired by "The Beverly Hillbillies" and a 1952 Ford truck that was transformed into a replica of the truck on "Sanford & Son."

"We have to think of the people who lost everything and try to help them as much as we can," Thomas said.

Mercersburg Mayor James C. Zeger, who helped cook the barbecued chicken for the event, said the sale is "a great, great thing. I hope they sell everything and make a lot of money."

Schaub had "not even a wild guess" as to how much money the sale might have raised for the American Red Cross. She plans to sell more items for hurricane relief Sept. 24 at Townfest in Mercersburg.

Local supporters of the yard sale were Pepsi, Borough of Mercersburg, Nancy's Uniforms of Waynesboro, Pa., and Philips' Flower and Gift Shop, Modnur's Pharmacy and G.K. Tasty Dogs and More, all of Mercersburg.

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