Although the ongoing pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of this spring’s annual Budget Bin consignment sale, an event of the Solon Council of PTAs which raises scholarship funds for graduating Solon seniors, the need is still there for donations, organizers said last week.

They are asking the community to lend a hand, with donations going directly to the scholarship fund, which will have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of Solon High School graduating seniors, Solon resident Hope Gloger, Budget Bin co-chair, said.

The Budget Bin, which dates back more than 25 years and has been the largest indoor garage sale in Northeast Ohio, was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, the last year sales were held in spring and fall, the PTA awarded Lois Gazeley Scholarships to 30 high school seniors.

“But in 2021 we will struggle to make just a fraction of that number because both the fall and spring 2021 consignment sales were canceled,” said Budget Bin Co-Chairwoman Julie Dorsey, of Solon.

Ms. Gloger said a letter was sent out to all PTA presidents to include in their newsletter information about donations, and consigners from the past were also contacted.

Past Budget Bins included a wide variety of items, from clothing and home furnishings to toys books and more. The week-long sale was held in the Arthur Road School gymnasium.

Solon resident Heather Ferris, a former Solon Council of PTAs president, said that the Budget Bin provides a service in a multitude of ways. In addition to the scholarship funds raised, the bin is also a means for people to get so many items at a fraction of the retail price, she said.

Ms. Ferris also noted that Budget Bin does not award scholarships based on one particular achievement, such as grades or athletics.

“We take a very comprehensive look at applicants,” Ms. Ferris said. “We look at everything.”

Students send a resume as part of their application and write an essay. A committee of volunteers from Budget Bin review the submissions.

“A lot of kids who get those scholarships are kids who are not getting others,” Ms. Ferris said. “It’s really nice to see how far the reach is of Budget Bin.”

Organizers said no donation is too small.

“Any amount is appreciated,” Ms. Ferris said. “The class of 2021 on the whole has missed a number of things, so to provide them with a scholarship opportunity will be a nice way to end the year.”

Donations can be made by visiting the Solon Schools website or sending a personal check to Solon Council of PTAs/c/o Solon Board of Education, 3800 Inwood Drive, Solon 44139. Donations must be received by April 1 and no cash is accepted

“It’s a hard time all around,” Ms. Ferris said, “and there are a lot of people who are struggling and cannot donate right now and we respect that.

“(But) it’s a really really important event and service in Solon, and I don’t think that should be underscored,” she added.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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