Aurora yard sale helps clear the clutter

August 14, 2008 7:17:49 PM PDT
For two decades, Bette and Rudy Krueger have helped people clear the clutter from their garages and closets and help those less fortunate at the same time. They are the founders of "The Great American Yard Sale" in Aurora. It's an annual event that has grown from a one-tent rummage sale into a major fundraiser for the needy. ABC7's Harry Porterfield thinks the Kruegers are a couple you should know.

If you put all the yard sales you ever heard about in one place this is what you might get, the Great American Yard Sale, this Saturday and Sunday at the Fox Valley Center in Aurora. Bette and Rudy Krueger launched it 20 years ago.

"We just kind of plodded through the first year and then it just grew from there. Every year we got bigger, and here it is," said Bette Krueger.

The purpose: to provide assistance to the needy in DuPage County.

"We get donations from people who are somewhat affluent, and those donations turn into dollars and cents for organizations that help the homeless people," said Rudy Kreuger.

From one tent the sale has grown to a cluster of tents occupying 60,000-square feet of space. A corps of 30 volunteers help set it up.

Volunteer Beverly Morris was on hand from the beginning.

"We've cleaned a lot of houses and saved a lot of stuff from going to the garbage by having this sale...people just love that we do this," said Morris.

The accumulation of donations is organized into more than a dozen departments. Almost every conceivable consumer item can be found. Fifteen-year volunteer Kathy Camp manages the housewares department.

"We try to make things reasonable and make it a yard sale price so people will come and buy for what we're asking," said Kathy Camp, volunteer.

Over the years, the sale has generated such a reputation that shoppers attend, not only from the Chicago area, but from as far away as Florida, Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Proceeds from the sale are donated to six organizations providing services to homeless people in DuPage County.

"There's really no loss to anybody. It's always a win-win situation," said Bette.

"When you're through, it's a good feeling of accomplishing something and helping someone else," said Rudy.

Bette and Rudy Krueger, founders of the Great American Yard Sale, a couple you should know.

The sale takes place this Saturday and Sunday at 195 Fox Valley Center in Aurora

For more information on this weekend's Great American Yard Sale, go to www.greatamericanyardsale.com.


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