Volunteers will be hard at work setting up for the annual Gracie and Gordon Garage Sale. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)
Coming up on May 27 – 28 is the inspiring annual event that raises funds for the St. Andrews School Music program and the St. Andrews Community Centre. The event was started five years ago, thanks to a young girl named Gracie Herntier.
Gracie was in the first grade when she asked her parents if she could hold a garage sale to raise money so all the students in her music class could have an instrument to play. Gracie and her family worked extremely hard that year and opened their first garage sale on the final weekend of May 2012. Gracie’s parents helped her to raise $605.
“I had never seen such a proud face in all my years of life,” said her mother, Ana Herntier.
In 2013, Gracie was getting ready for her second annual garage sale when she was mauled by two Alaskan Malamutes and died as a result.
That year, the community rallied together and helped to hold her garage sale at the family’s home. The event raised $7,000 and, again, donated every cent to the St. Andrews School Music Program.
“Gracie, our little angel, would be smiling down on us,” added Ana.
Later that fall, Ana and Gracie’s grandmother met Lisa Anderson who was the mother of a friend of Gracie’s; boy named Gordon who had passed away during the previous year due to a motor vehicle accident. Both children had died at the age of seven. The families bonded as their children both shared a love for music and therefore decided that Gordon should be remembered in the garage sale as well.
As the families prepared for the third annual sale, the Gracie’s family home burned to the ground and took all donations with it. Once again, the community united and managed to make the Gracie and Gordon Garage Sale a huge success, raising over $7,700 for the school music program and $7,000 was donated to the St. Andrews Community Center, who gave their facility for the event.
The fourth year of the event managed to raise over $20,000 in just two days thanks to local businesses donating items for a silent auction.
This year, the SACC will be opening its doors once again for the event and organizers are expecting an even larger turnout.
“We families would like to thank everyone who has taken part in keeping our angels’ legacy alive,” added Ana. “Manitobans are truly the most generous people in the world and we are so lucky to be part of our Manitoban family.”
Donations of gently used toys, clothes, household items or anything that can be used by others are currently being accepted at the center. To inquire about drop-off times or to find out more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.