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Angels for Animals promotes biggest garage sale ever | News, Sports, Jobs

Angels for Animals promotes biggest garage sale ever | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse
Angels for Animals volunteers Leslie Tomko and Ruth Nabb are ready to start placing signs for the 28th Annual Gigantic Garage Sale, which aims to be the largest-ever sale that supports the charity that cares for animals.

CANFIELD — Donations will be rolling into the Canfield Fairgrounds on Saturday and Monday, all geared toward raising funds for Angels for Animals.

This is its 28th annual gigantic garage sale event — and aims to be the biggest yet.

“We are adding another building this year,” said Kim Moff, Angels for Animals outreach director. “We will be using the Fine Arts Building this year.”

Moff said the fairgrounds’ Fine Arts Building, or Building 2, will house the sale’s antiques and uniques items that are geared to the collector and those looking for valuable older items. These were formerly housed in the Government Building (Building 31), which will now house Kid’s Korner and Pets Plus.

Other buildings include Furniture (Building 22), Household Furnishings (Building 24), $1 Book World (Building 25), Man’s World (Building 26) and Clothing (Building 44).

The April 16 and 18 dates are when donations are accepted at the fairgrounds. Moff said everyone is being asked to separate the various items by category. It makes it easier to unload a vehicle at the proper building where the items will be offered.

April 19 to 21, the big task of sorting and pricing items will take place before the sale opens on April 22, 23 and 24.


This garage sale has grown over the years, as has the non-profit.

Angels for Animals was an idea that came up during a trail ride on the backs of horses between co-founders Diane Less and Polly Wardle. According to Angels’ Facebook history, the two women were discussing barn cats back in 1990. The idea was born and the two women took it by the reins and ran with it. Angels for Animals was incorporated in 1990 with the project beginning out of the two women’s homes and farms.

When publicity about the new charity got going, people began dumping off animals and the women’s homes became overwhelmed. In 1994, Less had an old chicken house renovated to take in dogs and cats. That shelter was located down the road from the present property.

“The chicken coop housed 12 dogs and a bunch of cats,” said volunteer Leslie Tomko. “It has come a long way since.”

As the facility grew, so did the need for funding. Two more women jumped on board to handle that.

Joanne Curran of Poland and Mary Lariccia of Boardman came together to hold a garage sale. It was held at Curran’s garage and brought in $600.

“The following year we moved it to the Calla Mar Manor (9983 Market St.) and it was held there for the next five years, but was just too small,” Less said.

Around 2001, it was moved to the Canfield Fairgrounds and from there, it just expanded, and today it encompasses seven barns, all filled to the brim with donated items.


One area of need for Angels right now is volunteers. They are needed from the first day when items are donated. Less said groups such as Boy Scouts, athletic teams, social groups, and organizations are welcome.

“We can use ages 2 through 92,” Less said. “We have a spot for everyone. It takes thousands of man hours to hold this sale.”

When the donations arrive, they have to be placed in the proper barn. The sorted and collected items need to be displayed and priced. When the day of the sale arrives, more volunteers are needed to run the sale, collect the money, assist shoppers, and make sure people have purchased their wrist bands. Less said it takes hundreds to put the sale on for three days.

Last year’s three-day event brought in a net profit of approximately $150,000 for Angels for Animals. Even animals themselves got in on the fun of bringing in those funds. Moff said the garage sale event has the help of donor dogs.

“Donor dogs wear vests and are circulated around at the sale,” Moff said.

She said all the dogs come from owners who want to help, and know their dog is friendly around people. The donor dogs helped bring in more than $3,000 last year.

At the end of this year’s gigantic sale, some items will be moved to Barn 25 and will be sold during Dave and Ed’s Swap Meet the following weekend. The extra sale dates should bring in a little more for Angels for Animals.

Less added that donations are still sought and needed not only to run the daily operations, but to help pay off the new Angel Wing.

“When people donate, we ask them where they want it to go. We have the general fund for daily operations, specialty programs like our cat spays, or the capital campaign,” Less said. “Our capital campaign goal is $10 million and we have so far raised $7.9 million.”

Any person or group interested in volunteering for the pre-sale or sale can contact Diane at 330-502-5352, or Robin at 330-506-2839. More information is available on line at

[email protected]

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