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Garagapalooza! returns Thursday

Garagapalooza organizers are staged at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds today, taking donations from Saint Marys Hospital Emergency Department staff for Thursday's second annual garage sale.

"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, people start bringing their stuff down," said Bruce Fossum, an event organizer and one of Mayo Clinic's emergency nurses.

The sale runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

From noon until about 8 p.m. today, Tuesday and Wednesday, Emergency Department-related employees will be at Building 35. Medical workers will drive in one side of the building, unload Garagapalooza treasures and drive out the other end,all in preparation for Thursday's Fairgrounds garage sale.

"We open it up at 7 in the morning on the 23rd and last year it was just insane…we sold 19 bicycles in half an hour. I was like, holy smokes!" Fossum said, comparing the crowd to Woodstock.


"We figured there was 200 people outside the door when we opened last year. The lines were just pretty crazy," Fossum said. Last year, organizers split the $8,000 raised between the Salvation Army Dental and Medical Clinics.

Organizers will decide each year how to distribute money raised by staff, who include doctors; nurses; ancillary employees; Mayo One, Gold Cross and trauma-service workers.

"Certainly the Salvation Army will get a good chunk of it because of how they help us out so much," Fossum said. "We don't have a dentist in the ER and so a lot of folks go to their dental clinics from us. Our physicians will treat them for pain or give them antibiotics but, without having a dentist there, it's tough to do much more than that."

The Good Samaritan Dental Clinic serves many of the patients who can not afford dental care or insurance.

Organizers plan to have Mayo One land at the Fairgrounds so kids can take a look. Items available for purchase from the public will include furniture, kitchenware, sporting goods, clothing, books, stuff for kids, lawn and garden items, collectibles and antiques.

Fossum said last year's sale included everything from quirky Christmas yard displays, a prayer rail, videos and a boat motor. Left-over clothes were donated to Salvation Army after the sale.

Everybody's got some stuff that shouldn't be thrown out, Fossum said.

"This is a way we can turn it into something good."

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