The Rhody the Ram mascot endowment at the University of Rhode Island, launched six years ago provides financial support to the students who perform as Rhody at athletic and other campus events. Recipients must be at least sophomores in good academic standing and the endowment helps recruit new mascots and/or retain current ones.
“It was a glorious day – not hot enough for the beach, but not raining either. Everyone seemed to have fun and went home with a bargain or two, while adding to the Rhody the Ram endowment,” said co-coordinator Gerri Beagle, human resources and business manager of the URI Foundation.
Items for the sale were donated by students, staff, and community members. “Move out” boxes were put in all 22 residence halls for the students to donate their unwanted belongings. As a result, the Johnnycake Center in Wakefield received 1,218 pounds of food and 84 large garbage bags full of clothing and shoes.
Individuals were also able to set up their own tables for a fee of $25 each. The 22 table rentals raised $550 for the endowment.
Local animal shelters also profited, receiving 10 large garbage bags of old sheets, towels, and comforters that could not be reused. Everything else that remained after the sale, including household items, books, electronics, clothing, and rugs, was donated to Big Sisters of Rhode Island.
“Our team loaded and unloaded the big blue cargo recycling truck three times over the course of three days,” Beagle said. “The sale has gotten so big, that we’ve saved at least a few tons of treasures from ending up in the local landfill.”
It cost the University nothing to run the yard sale thanks to a committed group of volunteers.
“Several tons of materials were diverted from the state’s Central Landfill and people who donated things got rid of unwanted items,” said co-coordinator Nancy Hawksley. “People who bought things got many inexpensive treasures, people in need got lots of food, clothing, household and yard things, and Rhody the Ram will reap the benefits of an increasing endowment that did not exist before Gerri Beagle created this event.”
HELPING HANDS: URI staff members help members of the Big Sisters of Rhode Island load a truck at the Rhody the Ram Yard Sale. From left are Mary Anne Sumner, information services technologists at the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons, Linda Connell, senior word processor in the Department of Physics and Nancy Hawksley, co-coordinator of the yard sale. Richard Parfitt, in the truck, and Michael Cunha from Big Sisters gladly accept the donations. Photo courtesy of Gerri Beagle.