July 21, 2011By Luke Baynes Observer correspondent
Attention bargain hunters and garage sale buffs: get ready to break open your piggy banks because Saturday is going to be a big one.
Oneida Acres is hosting a community garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community, whose streets form a rough circle, is accessible from Sharon Drive off Vermont 2A or Gail Terrace off Industrial Avenue.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit Stephen St. Peter, the 49-year-old son of Oneida Acres residents Paul and Evelyn St. Peter, who was paralyzed from the shoulders down following a swimming accident last summer.
“They’ve always been the type of neighbors that are there for everybody,” Fran Henning said of the reason why the community decided to band together to help the St. Peters. “They’re just beautiful people.”
So far, 14 families have indicated that they will participate in the sale, which will include furniture, sports memorabilia, toys and tools. It will be left to each family’s discretion how much of the individual proceeds they will donate to the St. Peter family.
“I tend to like to do garage sales as a hobby on Saturday mornings,” said neighborhood resident Anne Robillard, who will be donating all of her sales proceeds to the St. Peters. “I went to several in the Williston area and I mentioned that we were going to do this Williston benefit and asked if they would donate their leftovers to us, so I have a garage full of leftovers now to be able to sell at the garage sale.”
The sale is timely, coming a day before the one-year anniversary of Stephen St. Peter’s tragic accident. Evelyn St. Peter, who has lived in Oneida Acres since 1965, noted that while her son is coping surprisingly well with the adversity of being a quadriplegic, the sale will provide much needed financial relief.
“The first year or two you’re just bombarded with expenses that insurance doesn’t cover,” she said. “We have a really nice neighborhood over here. They are very, very nice people. I am so glad I live in this neighborhood.”
Unbeknownst to Henning when she set the date for the sale, July 23 will mark the 56th wedding anniversary of Paul and Evelyn St. Peter. The couple can’t think of a better way to spend their special day.
“Usually we spend the day and go somewhere,” said Evelyn St. Peter of her wedding anniversary. “But we’re more than happy to stay home.”
Those who wish to make a contribution to the trust fund established for Stephen St. Peter can send a check to Paul and Evelyn St. Peter at 72 Gail Terrace, Williston, Vt. 05495. Checks should be made payable to “Stephen St. Peter” and indicate “For deposit only” on the back of the check.