Angels for Animals Hosts Biggest Garage Sale Ever | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by JT Whitehouse Angels for Animals volunteers Leslie Tomko and Ruth Nabb are ready to start putting up signs for the 28th annual Massive Garage Sale, which aims to be the biggest sale ever that supports the charity that takes animal care.

CANFIELD – Donations will be made at Canfield Exhibition Center on Saturday and Monday, all to raise money for Angels for Animals.

This is his 28th annual gigantic garage sale – and aims to be his biggest yet.

“We’re adding another building this year,” said Angels for Animals Outreach Director Kim Moff. “We will use the Palace of Fine Arts this year.”

Moff said the Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building, or Building 2, will house the sale’s antiques and one-of-a-kind items for the collector and those looking for valuable antiques. These were formerly housed in the Government Building (Building 31), which will now house Kid’s Korner and Pets Plus.

Other buildings include Furniture (Building 22), Household Furniture (Building 24), $1 Book World (Building 25), Man’s World (Building 26), and Clothing (Building 44).

April 16 and 18 are the dates on which donations are accepted at the fairgrounds. Moff said everyone was asked to separate the different items by category. It facilitates the unloading of a vehicle at the right place where the items will be offered.

From April 19-21, the heavy lifting of sorting and pricing items will take place before the sale opens on April 22, 23, and 24.


This garage sale has grown over the years, as has the non-profit association.

Angels for Animals is an idea that was born during a horseback ride between co-founders Diane Less and Polly Wardle. According to Angel’s Facebook history, the two women were talking about barn cats in 1990. The idea was born and the two women took it by the reins and ran with it. Angels for Animals was incorporated in 1990 and the project began in the homes and farms of the two women.

When publicity for the new charity started, people started throwing animals around and women’s homes were overwhelmed. In 1994, Less had an old chicken coop renovated to house dogs and cats. This shelter was located down the road from the current property.

“The coop housed 12 dogs and a group of cats,” said volunteer Leslie Tomko. “It’s come a long way since.”

As the facility grew, the need for funding also increased. Two other women jumped on board to handle this.

Joanne Curran from Poland and Mary Lariccia from Boardman got together to organize a garage sale. It took place at Curran’s garage and made $600.

“The following year we moved it to Calla Mar Manor (9983 Market St.) and it was there for the next five years, but it was just too small,” Less said.

Around 2001 it was moved to Canfield Fairgrounds and from there it has just expanded and now includes seven barns, all filled to the brim with donated items.


One of the current needs of angels is for volunteers. They are needed from the first day the items are donated. Lesser said groups such as scouts, sports teams, social groups and organizations are welcome.

“We can use ages from 2 to 92,” Less said. “We have a place for everyone. It takes thousands of hours of work to organize this sale.

When the gifts arrive, they must be placed in the correct barn. Sorted and collected items must be displayed and priced. When the day of the sale arrives, more volunteers are needed to organize the sale, collect the money, help the buyers and make sure people have bought their bracelets. Less said it takes hundreds to get the sale going for three days.

Last year’s three-day event brought in a net profit of around $150,000 for Angels for Animals. Even the animals themselves had fun contributing these funds. Moff said the yard sale event has the help of donor dogs.

“Donor dogs wear vests and walk around during the sale,” Moff said.

She said all dogs come from owners who want to help and know their dog is friendly to people. Donor dogs helped raise over $3,000 last year.

At the end of this year’s gigantic sale, some items will be moved to Barn 25 and sold at Dave and Ed’s Swap Meet the following weekend. Additional sale dates should earn Angels for Animals a bit more.

Less added that donations are always sought and needed not only to run day-to-day operations, but to help pay for the new Angel Wing.

“When people donate, we ask them where they want it to go. We have the general fund for day-to-day operations, specialized programs like our cat neuters, or the fundraising campaign,” Less said. “Our fundraising goal is $10 million and we’ve raised $7.9 million so far.”

Anyone or group interested in volunteering for the presale or sale can contact Diane at 330-502-5352, or Robin at 330-506-2839. More information is available online at

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