Volunteer firefighters are considered real heroes in Foresthill. So once each year, residents of the small foothill town do something heroic for their firefighters. The town's mega garage sale has raised as much as $40,000 in one weekend.
FORESTHILL, CA - Volunteer firefighters are considered real heroes in Foresthill. So once a year, residents of the small foothill town do something heroic for their firefighters.
The town's mega garage sale has raised as much as $40,000 in one weekend. All of the money goes to pay for equipment for the Foresthill Volunteer Fire Association.
Calling it a "garage sale" is selling it a little short.
"It started out as a street dance and garage sale," said volunteer Lori Goettle. "It has kind of evolved into a major event here in the town of Foresthill."
Indeed, the annual garage sale attracts bargain and antique hunters from as far as Oregon and the Bay Area.
Porter's Garage on Main Street is filled with a million items you'd expect to find at a typical garage sale. Furniture, old electronics, picture frames, books and videos. The garage sale, started in 1984, eventually outgrew the large garage on Main Street, so now, Memorial Hall is filled with home decorations and jewelry. And a local elementary school gym is stocked with tons of used clothing.
"I think this is a really great event that they put on every year," said Laura Marquette, who drove from Lincoln to look over the treasures.
It takes months to gather, sort and price all of the items.
"The heroes are our wonderful volunteers from the community that come and do the hard work to sort through the items that have been donated," said Goettle.
The money that shoppers gladly pull from their wallets still goes to support the volunteer fire department.
In a typical year, they will raise between $30,000 and $35,000.
"It would be very difficult without it, because of the funding the way it is," said Armand Hernandez, a volunteer firefighter for 25 years.
Every year, from April to August, the garage sale items are donated by residents of Foresthill.
You can put a price on everything at this mega garage sale, but you can't put a price on volunteer firefighters, ready to respond in an emergency. And in Foresthill, a giant garage sale is how the community helps to pay for that peace of mind.