Greencastle Sidewalks Days is a winner for Relay For Life team
One purpose of Greencastle Sidewalk Days is to provide visibility for community groups, and the 55th annual event gets high marks from first-time participants Family Fight, a Relay For Life team.
“There’s a full plate of vendors and lots of activity downtown,” said Debby Cunningham, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of Sidewalk Days held Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9.
In addition to community groups, local businesses and dozens of vendors selling everything from honey to hotpads lined parts of Baltimore and Carlisle streets. Food smells filled the air and, with the streets closed to traffic, people could sit at tables set up around Center Square to enjoy a snack.
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Sunny skies had lots of folks shopping, strolling, socializing and eating on Friday, when all but two of the allotted spaces were occupied.
Saturday’s rain was something of a damper, but Family Fight still raised a total of $1,427 for the American Cancer Society.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” said team member Jerinda Poper. “We will definitely be going back.”
It was hard to miss the hot pink shirts worn by Poper, her mother, Cindy Quillen, cousin Dwane Laudenslager and family friend Brian Johnson.
Arlene Barnes, Quillen’s sister and the final member of the team, showed late morning Friday with stitches on her face and upper back.
Barnes has a scar on her arm where melanoma was taken off a few years ago and had just been to the doctor to have two questionable skin spots removed for testing.
“Cancer’s a nasty, nasty thing,” Barnes said.
Poper’s father, Jeffrey Myers, who came by a short time later, has had melanoma many times.
Quillen started to talk about the importance of the Relay For Life, but choked up and had to walk away. Poper said her mother has lost family members to cancer.
After composing herself, Quillen explained she is a 36-year cancer survivor. Uterine cancer was detected when she was pregnant with her son, Jeffrey Carbaugh, and 16 months after he was born, she underwent a complete hysterectomy.
Family Fight has participated since the first Greencastle Relay For Life in 1995. Originally 14 members strong, its roster is down to five as people got older.
“We’re not stopping, we can’t,” Quillen said.
The high temperatures at the May 21 Relay didn’t keep them from circling Kaley Field, and after Sidewalk Days they’re off to a running start for 2023.
The team usually raises money selling donated merchandise at yard sales.
“We get U-Hauls full of stuff and decided to try something different,” Poper said.
Someone donated artificial flowers and Poper arranged them in vases. Another person no longer involved with selling Scentsy gave their remaining inventory to Family Fight.
Team members might not want to see another piece of jewelry after working intensely assembly-line style to create, package and price countless pieces.
The price tags did not mean a lot to Sidewalk Days shoppers once they learned the money was going to the fight against cancer.
“It’s working out well. People are paying more when they find out it’s for charity,” Poper said.
They often heard “keep the change” and others made donations without buying anything. The $1,427 Family Fight raised is more than double its highest one-day yard sale total of $672.
The team’s friendliness and enthusiasm also were selling points. One woman tracked Poper down on Facebook just to thank the team for giving her and her young daughter a wonderful experience during Sidewalk Days.
Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.