“People are coming in and paying more than we’re asking for; they’re paying four dollars for an item that goes for two dollars,” said co-organizer Wanita Rohne at the first fundraiser of a new group formed about two months ago by aides and nurses at Wood Dale Nursing Home.
The Wood Dale Warriors hoped to make $1,000 this past garage sale weekend for Alzheimers research. By 2:22 p.m. Thursday afternoon, they had already raised over $550. One man stopping by the garage sale fundraiser on Thursday afternoon handed two plastic bags of cookies to volunteer Rita Frey, and said, “I wasn’t going to get anything, but it’s for a good cause.” Then he paid eight dollars for two plates of cookies. “People are coming in and paying more than we’re asking for, They’re paying four dollars for an item that goes for two dollars,” said co-organizer Wanita Rohne. The garage sale was the first fundraiser for a new group formed about two months ago by aides and nurses at Wood Dale Nursing Home. “We got an email asking if we’d like to form a team to join the Walk Against Alzheimers, in Willmar next October,” Rohne said. “All of us at Wood Dale — nurses, aides, bookkeepers — have been touched by this disease, and have seen the impact it has on families.” Creating a team to take part in the charity walk next October 4 seemed obvious. The trick was actually raising money for it. Most teams go out and get sponsors, but the Warriors weren’t comfortable with that. “We decided the hardest thing was just walking up and asking people to give us money,” Rohne said. “We decided we’d rather do fundraisers instead.” Rohne volunteered her front lawn and garage, and put the word out the Warriors were looking for donations of items to sell. “Right now we’ve got 35 or 40 people signed up to be part of the Warriors,” Rohne said, “but everyone in the community is welcome to join.” As word of what the Wood Dale Warriors were up to got out, people jumped forward to volunteer, and not just people associated with Wood Dale. The tables were donated by the National Guard Armory. When it rained on Thursday, the opening day of garage sale weekend, several volunteers from Tersteeg’s grocery store brought over a tent and set it up in Rohne’s front yard. The garage sale isn’t the end point of the Wood Dale Warriors’ fundraising, but the beginning. “Our goal for the summer is to raise $2,500. Our next event is going to be a bake sale,” said Rohne, noting that baked goods were among the best sellers at the garage sale. For more information about the Wood Dale Warriors, call Wood Dale Nursing Home at 507-637-3587 and ask for Wanita Rohne or Becky Jenniges.