Pat Pelliccia shown on Wednesday standing among the items that will be sold at the 17th annual Clean Sweep garage sale at Bates College on Saturday. The sale is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and proceeds benefit nonprofits.

LEWISTON — It’s back.

Bates College’s 17th annual garage sale is returning to the college campus Saturday, June 17. It will start at 8 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. at the Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St.

The sale benefits the environment, good Samaritans and consumers. It keeps good stuff out of landfills, benefits nonprofits who share the proceeds, and provides local shoppers with good deals.

On Wednesday, Clean Sweep director Pat Pelliccia was overseeing a team of volunteers organizing and labeling items —  lots of items.

The arena held rows of couches, wooden chairs and overstuffed chairs.

There were tables of fans and tables of lamps.

Another long table held an army of hair dryers, humidifiers, blenders, coffee makers and toasters.

Still other tables held grab bags of student supplies, including pens, markers, notebook paper and tape.

“All that stuff is from the kids,” Pelliccia said. Students had to clean out their dorms before they left and what they didn’t want ended up at Underhill Arena.

While doors open at 8 a.m. Saturday, consumers line up for hours before, Pelliccia said. “People who start lining up at 6 a.m. know what they want,” she said.

The draw is quality and the prices.

“You can buy an iron for $5. A coffeepot for $3, clothes for anywhere from $1 to $5,” Pelliccia said. “Furniture, you can get a chair for $25, refrigerators, $25.”

Profits in past years have ranged from $15,000 to $22,000, which is divided among these nonprofit agencies: Ascentria Care Alliance, Catholic Charities of Maine’s Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope, John F. Murphy Homes, Maine Franco-American Genealogy Society, the SHARECenter, and Tri-County Mental Health.

Last year, Bates officials said the college no longer had the time or space to deal with the garage sale, and it wanted nonprofits to take over the sale.

After asking for bids, Clean Sweep was outsourced to one non-profit to run it, John F. Murphy Homes. But there were problems.

The sale itself went well, Pelliccia said, but it was tough to find a place to hold it and when the Lewiston Armory was secured, there were restrictions.

Holding it off campus meant all the goods had to be hauled to another location for storage, then to the armory. After the sale, merchandise that didn’t sell had to be moved out.

And some nonprofits weren’t happy the sale wasn’t on campus and was being administered by one nonprofit.

“It is a lot of work,” Pelliccia said. The sale was brought back to campus to allow more nonprofits to share the work, she said.

“The other piece is to let the community come back onto campus,” she said.

After Saturday’s sale, Bates will allow several churches to take whatever they want for free, Pelliccia said.

“That way, we continue to give stuff away to a useful purpose,” she said.

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Volunteer T.J. Harmon sorts and labels fans that will be sold during the Clean Sweep garage sale Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston. The popular sale is returning to the college’s Underhill Arena this year.


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