Yard sale raises record amount for Rhody the Ram endowment

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 17, 2008 – The 5th annual Rhody the Ram Yard Sale raised a record-breaking $2,700 earlier this month, nearly double what was raised last year. The fund-raiser benefits The Rhody the Ram Endowment, which provides financial support to students who serve as the University of Rhode Island mascot.

The endowment now stands at more than $20,000.

“The real credit for the success of this year’s event goes to Gerri Beagle (fiscal manager of the URI Foundation),” said yard sale co-coordinator Nancy Hawksley, the University’s recycling coordinator. “She mobilizes the volunteers and gets everything organized. Plus, she is the strongest woman I know. She was lifting heavy boxes all day.

“Customers stood in line to pay. We didn’t sell anything for a lot of money, but we sold a lot of things for a little money and it all added up,” Hawksley said.

“It was a wonderful, busy event that people now mark on their calendars each year when they want to pick up some great items at great prices,” Co-coordinator Beagle said. “I want to thank all of our volunteers who made this such a success.”

Hawksley said faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University aided the entire effort. “In addition to donations from students moving out of their residence halls, URI supporters cleaned out their closets and basements to find wonderful things to contribute.”

“We had lots of clothes, 27 boxes of books, compact discs, DVDs, Christmas decorations, picture frames, a wood chipper, exercise equipment, furniture and plastic flowers,” Hawksley said.

Even the URI bookstore donated half a dozen boxes of defective clothing. “We sold each item for a buck apiece and we were sold out in minutes.”

In addition, area residents could pay $25 to the endowment to rent tables and sell goods on their own. “We had 25 tables and the materials sold at them went very quickly,” Hawksley said.

The yard sale comes at the end of the period when students move out of campus residence halls for the summer. During the move out period, URI Recycling asks students to put items they no longer want or need in bins in their residence halls. The recycling office also picks up heavy furniture and other bulky items.

Those items, non-perishable food items and most of the clothes, were turned over to charities following the move out period.

“In addition to the money raised for the endowment, we donated a ton of food and about 750 pounds of seasonal clothing to the Jonnycake Center in Peace Dale,” Hawksley said. “Another 750 pounds of clothing was donated to Big Sisters of Rhode Island. And Kiducation/Campus Crusade for Children sent a truck to pick up another ton of items left at the conclusion of the yard sale. Gerri and I are thrilled that the URI community is able to assist those in need while keeping our unwanted things out of the state landfill.”

Pictured above

CLEANING UP: Volunteers who helped out with URI’s student move-out and Rhody the Ram Yard Sale stand before a Big Sisters truck. From left are: Jamey Costa, Big Sisters driver; Jolene Octavius, URI student; Steve DeRita, URI Recycling laborer; Michaela Dion, URI student; Nancy Hawksley, URI Recycling coordinator; and Rudny Gacin, URI student. Photo courtesy Gerri Beagle, co-coordinator of the Rhody the Ram Yard Sale.