March 12, 2008 IMLAY CITY — If there is to be a 2008 Garage Sale Mania, it will have to be organized by someone other than the Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce.
For nearly a decade the chamber has sponsored the community-wide garage sale. During that time the event has grown and drawn thousands of residents and visitors, all seeking out bargains at home sales and participating businesses.
This year, with funds at a minimum and a shift in chamber philosophy, the organization is bowing out of Garage Sale Mania. The decision was made at the chamber's Feb. 26 meeting.
Chamber Director Cynthia Pankala is asking that any groups, churches or organizations interested in taking over the reins of the event, to step forward now.
"I can tell that Garage Sale Mania is a community favorite, but it's very difficult for the chamber to make some of the decisions it's faced with at this time," said Pankala. "We hope some other organizations or non-profits, such as churches, service groups or youth associations, can benefit from coordinating the event."
Garage Sale Mania has traditionally taken place in May, serving as both a harbinger of spring and a kickoff to garage sale season.
However, the event requires time, money and effort to ensure that it comes off smoothly, said Pankala.
"It takes considerable energy in terms of planning," she said, "but the event creates a lot of energy, too.
"Whomever takes over sponsorship would likely benefit from increased customer traffic, greater visibility in the community and enhanced name recognition."
If any business or organization is interested in sponsoring Garage Sale Mania, they are asked to contact Pankala at the chamber office at 724-1361. She can provide new sponsors with information about how to get started.