|FROM CITY'S TONE, VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2, FEBRUARY 2001:|
garage sale with a mission
by john w. hays
For the sixth year in a row, First Avenue/7th Street Entry was host to a benefit event for Pastor Paul's Mission in North Minneapolis. In a multi-faceted event which combined some of the classic treasures of a garage sale with the minimally amplified performances of local musicians (many from bands of notable repute), artists, fans and friends pulled off an evening of entertainment, shopping and philanthropy.
Billed as Pastor Paul's Acoustic Garage Sale, this year's event was unique in that, for the first time in the history of this benefit, Pastor Paul was available to make a personal appearance. On Wednesday evening, January 17, (2001) he was in town, and free of conflicts.
The original Acoustic Garage Sale benefit seven years ago occurred before First Avenue's Steve McClellan had run across The Mission, Inc. The next year Pastor Paul's became the charity of choice, and it has remained so ever since. Pastor Paul's Mission is a non-sectarian, not for profit organization providing food, love and dignity to people in need.
Over the years the Garage Sale has been tweaked and the details refined to a point that the night's activity seems to flow quite naturally. One of the Acoustic Garage Sale producers, Mean Larry, tells of a year they enlisted all local radio DJs to MC, in part with the strategy of boosting preliminary on-the-air publicity. It didn't work as well as they wanted, but he did get them all to sign an old bowling pin for the silent auction.
This year Mark Wheat of Radio K had the honorable role of MC.
The artists seemed to glide in easily, quickly prepare the minimal equipment, and then comfortably let loose with what they do best. Soon after concluding their brief sets, you could find many of them milling about the floor, checking out stuff for sale, leaning on a guitar case, or exchanging stories with one another.
The artisans and collectors displaying their wares were doing their part toward the benefit by contributing a percentage of sales. There were tables of clothing, jewelry, artwork, books, albums, and classic vintage stuff that certainly fit with what you would expect to find at a garage sale. The final tally raised for The Mission was over $1000.
the number of vendors seems to work well for the crowd attending (over
300 this year), but Mean Larry is hoping and planning for growth in both
categories next year. He says the musicians chomp at the bit for this gig,
so there is no fear of coming up short there. He's definitely in tune with
that part of the production, as he was one of the performers on stage during
* Provides fresh groceries to the poor and disadvantaged.
* Located at 1000 Oliver Ave N in Minneapolis, in a historic three-story converted temple.
* About 9 million pounds of food distributed annually.
* Serves around 6000 families or roughly 24,000 people a year.
* Once a week stages an outdoor street giveaway of perishables, no registration required.
* Full time staff of 6, with support from court referred & senior volunteers, church youth and adult groups.
* No geographic boundary restrictions limit service.
* Turns around the food for 5¢ per pound.
the established funding sources such as private, corporate, county, foundations
and grants, the Acoustic Garage Sale is the only fundraising event held
for Pastor Paul's Mission. A $1000.00 donation from the Acoustic Garage
Sale will provide 20,000 pounds of food.
©2001 Open Mouth Promotions