Helen Brown’s Annual Cystic Fibrosis Yard Sale continues today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

By Shavonne Walker


SALISBURY — Ava Fryar donned her sunglasses in the 80 degree Friday heat with her quilted blue bag in her hand filled with goodies from Helen Brown’s Cystic Fibrosis yard sale.

Helen and Ralph Brown’s yard sales are infamous among many Salisbury and Rowan County residents and is in its 14th year. She began the yard sales, which are held every May and October, as a way to help fund cystic fibrosis research. May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.

The sale began on Friday and will continue today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Her grandchildren were diagnosed with the disease, which affects the lungs and digestive system. The two-day sale takes place at the Browns’ home at 1621 Emerald St., which will be one-way to accommodate the event.

Fryar began attending the yard sales three years ago with friend Lola Holt.

“I come to both,” Fryar said of the biannual yard sale.

She doesn’t necessarily come with a plan, but “sometimes I browse and say ‘I needed one of these,’ ” she said with a smile.

Fryar always brings her own bag and on Friday she bought a shower nozzle. Her greatest find was a pair of headphones and a roaster pan that she found just in time for Thanksgiving.

“I even found a cellphone case here,” Fryar said excited. “There’s no telling what you might find.”

Fryar loves that there’s always a deal as she described a 75-cent loaf pan she bought one year because it was exactly what she was looking for, she said.

“It’s a blessing for the cause she’s doing it for. It causes you to want to help,” she said.

Roy Trexler says he’s been supporting Helen and her husband, Ralph, since the beginning. His grandson Gage Wagoner was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. He and his family collect items to donate for the yard sales and then attend to shop.

Lola Holt said she wouldn’t really call herself a yard sale person, but she attends with friend Ava Fryar. She did find a few items for friends including Tupperware and children’s books, Holt said.

“She is a darling person. You want to support her,” Holt said of Helen Brown.

Linda Holshouser has known Helen Brown when Brown worked as an office assistant at a doctor’s office. She’s found dolls and vintage dishes.

“People give to her because they want to contribute to something they feel like they’re giving back,” she said.

Brown called this her biggest yard sale ever. She said she had a lot of furniture this year and many more items. Furniture pieces lined her driveway and several tables held delicate china and other dishes as well as handbags and golf clubs.

Even before the sale begins, Brown and about 25 volunteers clean the items and make sure they are free of damages, that the electronic items work.

The sale also included high end bakeware, dolls, canning jars, household items, vintage hats and glassware, as well as vintage hairdryers.

Each person who attends registers for a chance to win a print from artist Bob Timberlake. The drawing will be held today.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.