Dalton Community Recreation Association's annual 'Crane Paper Sale' fundraiser set for this weekend

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DALTON — Christmas is coming early for local stationery enthusiasts.

The Dalton Community Recreation Association is getting ready for its annual stationery sale, which supports community events and youth programming.

The sale, which runs Aug. 18 to 21, brings together a diverse group of artists, printers, businesspeople, teachers and those who just want to stock up on their Christmas cards. It The draws customers from nearby as well as from Northampton, Albany, N.Y.,  and even Ohio.

Crane Stationery donates the supplies — typically larger sheets of paper, folded notecards or preprinted holiday cards, said Dave Garwood, chief operating officer for the company.

The sale typically includes overstock or items that might be outdated and difficult to use again for other designs.

"In the old days, we had way more than the CRA could handle," he said. "Now it's getting a little bit thinner. We're controlling our inventories a bit tighter. So we don't have as big of a pile as we used to years and years ago."

Despite this, CRA volunteers had already started cleaning, organizing and pricing the donated items in July.

"I can hardly keep ahead of them," said Alison Peters, executive director of the Dalton CRA. "It's amazing how many hours, how many days they put into helping with this. I just can't tell you how good I feel about it."

Volunteers start work weeks before the sale, removing warehouse dust from the donated items, pricing and setting the items up for display.

On Crane Stationery's side, warehouse workers spent a week or two packing up the items for donation. The bulk of the work is determining what will be donated — that could take as long as six months, Garwood said.

The CRA collects about $25,000 per year from the sale. Funds are used to support the CRA's events and youth programming, specifically the drop-in after-school program, tutoring, a mentoring program for special needs students and a youth leadership group.

Local businesses support some of these programs as well, but the paper sale represents a big part of these programs' funding, Peters said.

Reach staff writer Patricia LeBoeuf at 413-496-6247 or @BE_pleboeuf


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