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Hospital Aid Street Fair volunteers prepare for annual Fair and Auction

GETTING READY FOR THE FAIR on Tuesday, July 27, in one of the Hospital Aid barns were (l-r): front row, Judy Dedgeon and Sharon O’Donnell; middle row, Jan Phillips, Sylvia Countway, Betsy Thornton, Faye Hunter, Jane Wass and Bob Wass; back row, Paul Thornton. (Rheanna Bellomo photo) (click for larger version)
July 29, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Managing three barns filled with furniture stacked to the ceiling and tables covered with piles of books, lamps, knick knacks, and toys would be overwhelming to just about anyone. Anyone but Jane and Bob Wass, that is.

For eight years the couple has co-chaired the Hospital Aid Street Fair and Auction and managed its collection center on Route 109A in Wolfeboro. The street fair is an annual fundraiser for Huggins Hospital patient care costs and equipment needs. Held each August on Brewster Memorial Field, the fair sells anything and everything from clothing and accessories to sports gear and home furnishings. Big-ticket items like motorboats and antiques are sold in the auction. Items at the fair include but are not limited to electronics, plants, linens, clothing, toys, giftware, boutique apparel, books and furniture.

"You never know what kind of hidden treasure will be here," said Jane Wass, co-chair. She explained that local antique dealers often find valuable pieces at the street fair's auction.

This year will mark the 73rd annual Hospital Aid fundraiser, which maintains its goal of raising about $100,000 for Huggins Hospital each year. In addition to the summer fair and auction, the Wasses host barn sales in the fall to raise additional funds for the hospital. "This is pretty much a year round job for us. We started as volunteers for this and now we run it," Jane said.

This year, the Wasses have received help from about 50 volunteers in sorting through donations and preparing for set-up. During the fair, however, there will be a few hundred volunteers helping the couple set-up, organize, run, and break down the fair in less than a week's time.

At the end of the fundraiser, the Wasses recycle what does not sell. The couple sends leftover clothes to Goodwill and books to I've Got Books in Wilmington, Mass. "Nothing comes back with us. I'm big recycler and we also want to start new for the next year," Jane said.

The Wasses take donations for the summer street fair from May to July 10, but have continued to accept certain items through the end of July. Donations for the fall barn sales are accepted from mid September through mid December.

"It's amazing that all this turns into an organized sale," said Jane, pointing to the stack of chairs and dressers behind her. "We have a long way to go, but we'll get there."

This year's fair will take place on Aug. 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The auction will be held on Aug. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both will be held on Brewster Memorial Field, at the junction of Center and Main Streets in Wolfeboro.

For more information or to donate items, call the Collection Center at 569-6630 or Jane and Bob Wass at 569-5022.

Martin Lord Osman
Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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