For close to 40 years, the Longbow Lake garage sale has attracted customers from miles around.

"This started years ago, back in the early '80s. It's grown and it's a tribute to the community," says fire chief Warren Brinkman.

The first sale brought in about $1,150 for the volunteer firefighters. Last year's event had sales of about $37,000 with around $35,000 going to help the fire department.

The shelves full of books, room full of furnishings and yard full of outdoor gear rivals most malls, with income to match. It also takes months to prepare. Starting in June, a small army of between 25 and 40 on site assists with preparations, right down to tarps on the tables the night before, in case of rain.

The brigade budget is around $65,000 for operations for the 24 firefighters and equipment. Down the road, Brinkman sees purchases including a new truck. Even a used one could be $250,000 or more.

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