If you are planning on stopping by Sam's Club this weekend, you may find the parking lot even busier than usual.
This is because Sam's Club will be hosting a yard sale fundraiser over the course of two days to support improved health care for millions of young people around the world.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, dozens of private vendors will set up shop and peddle their wares for the purpose of raising money for the Children's Miracle Network - an international nonprofit organization with whom Sam's Club has partnered for several years. According to Ruben Mascitti, co-coordinator of the yard sale, the event is an extension of a larger initiative taking place.
"This is actually a six-week fundraising campaign for CMN, and it's corporate-wide," Mascitti said. "They're having different events throughout the month and, basically, the people at Sam's Club who wanted to be involved volunteered to work on different projects."
One volunteer is Mascitti's domestic partner and 16-year Sam's Club employee, Tony Bragg, who was given the task of coordinating an event at his store. Bragg said he wanted to do something that would include the surrounding community in order to maximize the benefits all around.
"My manager asked me if it was something I wanted to be involved in, and I mentioned doing a yard sale," Bragg said.
"My manager asked me if it was something I?wanted to be involved in, and I mentioned doing a yard sale ... It's a win-win situation."
Tony Bragg, Sam's Club employee
Bragg said he is taking reservations from community members who wish to participate in the yard sale. The reservation fee is $20, and participating vendors will receive a 9-foot by 12-foot space in which to set up.
Bragg said all of the money received from the reservation fee will go to the Children's Miracle Network, while all of the money earned by individual vendors can be retained by them.
"It's a win-win situation," Bragg said, adding that the event could become an annual occurrence based on its success this year. "I wanted to get the community involved without making them feel like they couldn't receive the proceeds from their sales."
In addition to the items for sale by vendors, there will also be: $1 hot dogs and hamburgers, the proceeds of which will also go to the Children's Miracle Network; child safety demonstrations by the Ellicott Police Department, and the Lakewood and Celoron fire departments; and a 50/50 drawing. Bragg said Gumby will also be on-site for the earlier portion of the event to direct traffic to the yard sale.
"Basically, we're just trying to raise money for CMN, and we're doing whatever we can to get people to come," Bragg said.
Mascitti said there are 68 vendor spaces available for use on both days, and the hope is that at least 50 will be reserved altogether.
"If we had 50 spaces reserved, that would be $1,000 raised for CMN just through parking lot rentals alone," he said.
Vendors wishing to participate in the yard sale must make their reservations by the end of today. For more information, or to reserve a space, call Ruben Mascitti or Tony Bragg at 969-8564.