A very big thank you

after Very Big Tag Sale

The staff, management and board of Operation Hope would like to thank everyone who helped make our annual Very Big Tag Sale another very big success. Held Aug. 4 and 5, this vital fundraiser and community activity was attended more than 1,000 people.

We couldn't have done it without the inspired leadership and good humor of our event chair, Lisa Bond. Her remarkable talent, dedication, sense of fair play and terrific personality helped ensure success. Lisa, many thanks to you, and to your patient and generous family. Operation Hope is truly lucky to call you a friend.

And we couldn't have done it without a long list of family, friends and supporters, as well -- from the community residents willing to donate their gently used items; to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who set up, staffed, and cleaned up after the event; to the treasure hunters who came out and shopped for a good cause.

Special thanks to the local businesses who donated to our event -- Sherwood Farm, Huntington Rental, Abbey Tent, Billy's Bakery, Doughnut Inn (at the Circle), R & G Enterprises, Bigelow Tea, and more. Fairfield Rotary generously supplied hot dogs, hamburgers, and cold drinks. A heartfelt thanks to all of you for all your hard work, as well as to the companies that donated to you to help your efforts -- Super Duper Weenie, Chip's Restaurant, Shop Rite, Village Bagels, Doughnut Inn (Black Rock Tpke.), Dunkin Donuts (Black Rock Tpke.), and Billy's Bakery.

And those raffle baskets! Thank you to Alison Groenstein and family for her fabulous work creating the best and most creative prizes for our raffle winners. And to the individuals and businesses that donated to create those baskets, including Nauti Dolphin, Cisco Brewers (Triple 8) of Nantucket, Taco Loco, Dogwood Cleaners, Bacardi USA, Fairfield Theatre Company, Capri, A special nod to Hansen's Florist for wrapping the baskets -- they looked great!

Thank you to First Church, and especially Rev. David Spollett, for letting us use the space. A special thank you to Cheri Evan and Domingo Serrano, without whom we could not have made it happen. Thank you, Mike Zembruski, from the Town of Fairfield, for your help. Thank you to our friends Lori and Steve with Melaleuca for braving the heat. Thanks also to our staff members and board members who pitched in to help, as well as all those volunteers; they went above and beyond to show that they embrace our mission in deeds as well as words.

If we have forgotten to include you, we apologize. We certainly have not forgotten your generosity. But please know that each and every one of you that helped in ways big and small not only made the event a success but also demonstrated the very best about community -- we can all come together with a common purpose and make a difference for those of us who need our help. Thank you for all of us, especially those we serve through your generous support.

Carla Miklos

Executive Director

Operation Hope