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Joshua Thomas
Linda Scaffidi-Fonti, of Linda's Consignment Shop, tells Amy Crouse about her purse auction.

Joshua Thomas
From left, Robert Perry, William Clavijo and Franco Scaffidi-Fonti package chicken in the Legion Street parking lot to raise money for the summer concerts in Haslett Park.

Joshua Thomas
Donna Williams Short paints her car with flowers similar to the ones she paints on a variety of products she sold in the Legion St. parking lot Saturday.

Joshua Thomas
Christine Wagoner, of Peace of Pottery, Gloversville, showed off the variety of handmade goods she had for sale Saturday.


Simple sidewalk sale grows into community-wide event

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - Updated: 10:54 PM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- On Saturday, a Fort Plain Sidewalk Sale was held throughout the village. While the event initially just consisted of a plan for a sidewalk sale by Linda Scaffidi-Fonti, of Linda's Consignment Shop, word spread and numerous businesses decided they wanted to be involved. Canal St. was added, then the Legion St. parking lot, the Save-A-Lot plaza and True Value, and Unity Hall.

Scaffidi-Fonti said that social networking was the catalyst for the involvement of so many community businesses and organizations. "I would say I was the social networker for this whole thing," she commented, noting that although a few vendors cancelled for fear of rain that never came, the point of the event was absolutely proven.

"We wanted to show that we are a vital town," said Scaffidi-Fonti, continuing, "We have townspeople, we have businesses, we have active community groups and the only way for all these groups to factor in is to have events where everybody is involved."

Scaffidi-Fonti said she fears that there's a perception that since the flood, Fort Plain isn't doing well. That perception just simply isn't true, she said, commenting, "we're showing that we are here; we're bigger, we're better and we're stronger than we've ever been. Small towns come together like families."

At Linda's Consignment Shop, 20 purses were being auctioned out front, 16 from the store and four donated, including two light-up, handmade purses. Only an hour prior to the prize drawing, Scaffidi-Fonti stuffed each bag with a prize, including gift certificates that businesses donated for the cause.

At Unity Hall, artists set up areas to show and sell their work, while musical acts performed from 2-6 p.m. By about mid-way through Unity Hall's event, 101 people had come through the doors and more were coming through every minute.

Pat Ruddy, who performed a solo, acoustic set with a guitar as accompaniment, called his experience at the event "awesome", noting that it provided him his first opportunity to visit Fort Plain.

In the Legion Street Parking Lot, the Fort Plain Community Activities Council sold barbecue chicken to benefit the summer concert series, which was denied a grant that it annually receives, putting the program in the position of having to raise thousands of dollars in a short period of time so that bands could be booked for the event's early summer start. Over $2,000 was raised through an early morning/afternoon barrel drive.

Vendors also had booths set up in the parking lot, selling items ranging from shoes to hand painted glass pieces, to handmade pottery, which was sold by Peace of Pottery, of Gloversville. Christine Wagoner, of Peace of Pottery, said that her experience in Fort Plain was "very nice." She explained, "I've enjoyed visiting with the people. A lot of people came out and they seem interested in what we're doing. They tell their stories while we tell ours."

"I've had so much support in this community and my customers are wonderful," said Scaffidi-Fonti, commenting of the village, "we're worth not just a drive-by -- we're worth a stop."

Joshua Thomas - Erie Station held a car show in their parking lot Saturday.

Joshua Thomas - Pat Ruddy plays at Unity Hall.

Joshua Thomas - Amy Crouse, with Alex and Allison Lamphere, hands out balloons on behalf of Save-A-Lot.

Joshua Thomas Sarah Bogran, accompanied by Mike Dutcher on guitar, plays Unity Hall Saturday.


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