The Bristol Community Garage Sale is Thursday through Saturday, July 31, and Aug. 1 and 2.
Sandy Lingofelter and Cathy Burke have coordinated the town-wide garage sale event for six years, making it easier for shoppers and sellers alike.
Sandy and Kenny Lingofelter have a garage sale every summer, donating money from their garage sale to ADEC. The organization is near and dear to the Lingofelters because Sandy is blind.
Sandy was 28 years old when glaucoma and a detached retina took her sight in 1972.
She moved to Elkhart from Plymouth to go to the Elkhart Rehab Center, a forerunner of ADEC. There she learned to read braille, how to navigate with a cane and kitchen skills.
Sandy and Kenny met in 1975.
“He got a blind date,” said Sandy.
The Lingofelters married in 1976 and have lived in Bristol ever since.
For the Bristol Community Garage Sale, those who wish to have their garage sale included on a map of the town pay $5 to be included. Sandy takes the calls and receives the cash from those who want to be on the map.
Cathy places ads in the newspapers and puts the participating homes on a map. On the back of the map, she lists the items for sale at the various locations.
Sandy distributes copies of the map to the participants.
“The way the community garage sale started was just a coincidence. It wasn’t planned,” said Sandy.
“Sandy and Kenny had their sale like they always do every year, and my daughter was having one at my house across the street. Down the street there were a few more garage sales that same weekend,” said Cathy. “Sandy and I put our heads together, and we thought, why not organize and do it in one weekend? We can get a group together to advertise, and it benefits everyone by splitting up the cost. We have 14 or 15 who paid to advertise this year.”
The garage sale has enabled the Lingofelters to raise $500 to $900 a year to go to ADEC for Ride-a-Bike. Ride-a-Bike is a fundraiser held each May to raise money for the mentally and physically handicapped.
In 2013, Kenny received the Bradley S. Vite award for dedicated volunteerism to the annual ADEC Ride-a-Bike.
“I haven’t been able to ride the last two years, but I still participate in raising funds,” said Kenny.