Bakerstown Road residents band together for ‘giant’ garage sale benefiting West Deer family
What started as a Girl Scout project last year continued Saturday as a benefit for a 9-year-old West Deer boy and his family.
Gerald Schiller said he never had much luck trying to hold a garage sale at his home on Bakerstown Road in Frazer.
There just wasn’t enough traffic.
Then he got the idea of staging one with his neighbors, in hopes of making it a destination and drawing more people.
Last year, Schiller’s daughter, Adelaide, 15, did it for her Girl Scout project. At least 30 homes along Bakerstown Road took part, and proceeds went to an Arnold girl who had been diagnosed with cancer.
“We just wanted to keep it going every year. We as a family did it this year,” Gerald Schiller said. “We all worked on it this year to keep it going.”
Ben is 9 and in third grade at East Union Elementary School. He was born with cerebral palsy, caused by a brain malformation, said his mom, Jennifer Adams.
He doesn’t speak.
“He’s learning how to read and spell,” she said. “Math is harder for him.”
Adams and her husband, Brett, have two other children, Morgan, 12, and Johanna, 7.
Ben had surgery this summer to help him walk. The 45-minute procedure in July made it possible for Ben to straighten his legs out, and he can walk with a walker.
“This is independence,” his mom said. “It’s huge.”
The surgery is paid for. What the family needs help with now is making their split-entry home accessible for Ben, or moving into an accessible house, and buying a wheelchair-accessible van.
Because their home isn’t accessible, “he crawls around the house and we carry him,” Jennifer Adams said.
Ben also uses a power wheelchair. They have to take it apart to get it into the van they have now.
The garage sale was raising money for the Adams family by having vendors pay for spaces, the sale of food and snacks, and donations.
“We’re completely moved and touched by this event,” Jennifer Adams said. “We have felt the warmth of the community here and everywhere in West Deer. We are very grateful for everybody’s support.”
While last year’s garage sale was in August, Schiller moved it to September this year so they’d be sure Bakerstown Road was reopened after road work.
Last year’s sale raised $2,200. With more homes participating, Schiller was hoping for more this year.
Schiller said he hopes to have it again next year in August.
“We plan on having it every year,” Schiller said.
Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.