By Taylor Renkema
The second annual United Way Truckload Sale kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 19, bigger and better than last year’s.
Kerry Ramsay, program co-ordinator and professor of the Post-Graduate Public Relations program at Loyalist says local manufacturers like Proctor and Gamble, Kellogg’s and Wilson Sports donate their products to the school, where they are sold to students, staff and community members for low prices.
“Everything about it this year is bigger,” Ramsay said. “There are more products, more people, and hopefully more money.”
The sale made $18,611 in just one day, as opposed to last year’s total of $15,300 over two days.
Donations this year included cereal (Mini-Wheats, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Corn Flakes and Apple Jacks), Pantene shampoos, make-up and feminine hygiene products, Crest toothpaste and toothbrushes, razors, batteries and sports products like baseball gloves and volleyballs.
“It’s a win-win for the community,” Ramsay said. “All the proceeds go directly to the United Way, and our students get hands-on experience managing an event.”
She also said the public relations students were working really hard and co-operating great together.
“We’ve been going since quarter to seven this morning, and everyone’s been really positive,” she said. “We’re now a month and a half in [to the program] so that’s allowed us to learn each other’s working styles and really play to our strengths.”
The sale was scheduled to begin at eight o’clock Wednesday morning, but people were lined up by 7:20, according to Melissa Semenuk, a public relations student at Loyalist.
PR students are required to work at the sale for their program, but Semenuk said it’s about more than that.
“It’s required, but it teaches us event planning and how to fundraise for non-profits. It’s really important, since a lot of people in our program will be working for non-profits after school. It’s great, we aren’t just here because we have to be,” she said.
She said last year’s event sold out and made about $15,000, and this year they’re hoping to do the same. By nine o’clock Wednesday morning, just an hour after the sale started, some items, like Gillette razors, Pantene shampoo, Life Brand D batteries, granola bars and Pulsar toothbrushes were already sold out.
Larry Doyle, director of community services for the United Way of Quinte said the sale was originally designed for students.
“It’s similar to the warehouse sales we have for United Way of Quinte all across the region. This one is scaled to students so most of the products are hygiene and personal care, and the cereal too — they love it,” he said.
Doyle has worked for United Way for six years. He says the students win both ways, by getting lower prices and a great chance to learn.
“It’s a great experience. The students are learning how business works, how we put on sales, how we do fundraising, how allocations work for charities, the whole methodology of what we do as a United Way,” he said.