BETHANY — The smells of fried corn dogs and funnel cakes.
The sights of award-winning livestock, pies and jams.
The sound of “step right up, everyone’s a winner” being called out over squeals of joy from children on carnival rides.
Those memories are as vivid today for older Oklahomans as they were in childhood, and Grace Living Center Bethany hopes to help keep them alive for its residents again this year.
“When I was younger the fair was always the event of the year, and even to this day it is something I get excited to go to,” said Grace Living Center resident Pat Lee, 75. “I love getting to eat all the interesting fried foods. The strawberry crepes are my favorite fair dessert!”
Activities Director Andrea Anfuso says the trip to the Oklahoma State Fair is the highlight of the year for many of the home’s residents. That’s why she and other staff members devote hours to helping raise the extra money needed to cover the costs of the outing. It was Anfuso who came up with the idea of hosting a massive yard sale.
“We apply for free admission for the residents through a program that is offered by the state fair, but we always like for them to have spending money to eat, shop and play games too,” Anfuso said.
Anfuso and fellow staff members donate items to the sale, but it is the generous donations from members of the community that help make it successful.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of the community and we welcome their donations,” Anfuso said, encouraging everyone to clear out the items they no longer want and help Grace find them new homes at the annual Grace yard sale, which is fast approaching.
“Anyone who donates, or comes out and shops the yard sale is really helping a great cause, because this trip gives the residents a chance to get out, enjoy themselves and feel engaged with our community as a whole,” Anfuso said.
Those who attend the sale also get great bargains and a few bonuses too. The Grace yard sale kicks off at 8 a.m. Sept. 5 and runs all day. At 8 a.m. Sept. 6, volunteers will be back helping with day two of the sale, which features hot dogs and live music during lunch.
“We are busy lining up donations now,” Anfuso said. “Clothing, shoes, furniture, appliances and household items in good, working order are all being accepted.”
The home asks that large items, like bulky furniture, be brought to the home at 7000 NW 32 on Sept. 4 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
All of the money raised through the sale will be divided evenly among the residents.
“It’s fun to watch the residents at the fair,” Anfuso said. “In the past, we have raised enough to give each resident about $42, but we hope to top that this year.”
“The yard sale truly is a blessing for so many residents,” Lee said. “The money raised helps ensure that we all have a little something to spend when we go to the fair.”
If you would like to donate items or help with the yard sale, contact Anfuso at Grace Living Center Bethany at 789-7242.
Amanda Crase is with Evergreen Productions.