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A colorful community yard sale: Hundreds come out to Gainesville neighborhoods to support favorite causes

Ian Kleiner and Jayme O’Connell with their two daughters, Ivy Lee (left) and Ianna (right). Oct. 22. (Kimberly Iglesias/WUFT News)
Ian Kleiner and Jayme O’Connell with their two daughters, Ivy Lee (left) and Ianna (right). Oct. 22. (Kimberly Iglesias/WUFT News)

Twenty-three families partnered last weekend to host the first annual Northwood Pines and Northwood Oaks community yard sale.

To some, the event was an opportunity to fundraise for their beloved charities, while others had fun simply getting rid of clutter and making an extra buck.

Families donated earnings to Hurricane Ian relief efforts, health care organizations and the Humane Society.

Jayme O’Connell, the event’s organizer, planned the event over the past six weeks. She and her family passed out flyers to almost every house in both subdivisions, inviting the neighbors to join the fun.

“I complain because she goes all out,” said Ian Kleiner, O’Connell’s husband. “She’s a super mom.”

The family moved into the neighborhood 11 months ago, and O’Connell as made it a goal to bring her community closer together.

She plans on making the neighborhood yard sale a biannual event – once in the fall and once in the spring. Her event joins a trend that seems to be growing in popularity around Alachua County. Haile Plantation, Turkey Creek and The Patio Homes of West End have all caught on.

“After COVID, everybody’s so isolated,” O’Connell said. “Let’s get back outside, and be friends and meet each other again.”

Jason Carr, who calls himself a yard sale aficionado, chose the Northwood neighborhoods this weekend over the others

“You can’t be in three places at the same time,” he said. But he has friends who go to the others for him.

House No. 1: Jayme and Ian, Therapy puppies for Humane Society 

O’Connell and Kleiner set up a puppy playpen and a snack stand on their front lawn. Whoever wanted to cuddle could give a donation and step inside the corral. The family has been fostering the eight pit bull mix pups and their mom for about three weeks. Mavis, the puppies’ mother, was found tied to a tree in the middle of the woods in a surrounding county.

They raised $50 in donations for the Humane Society, which O’Connell has been volunteering at for the past few months. The family made a little extra on top by selling clothes, stuffed animals and miscellaneous yard sale treasures.

With more than 100 people stopping by the house, O’Connell jumped at the opportunity to promote her run in a nationwide horror contest called Face of Horror and get people to vote. She’s close to winning the $13,000 prize, which she’ll use to buy her 5-year-old daughter, Ivy Lee, an adaptive bicycle. Ivy Lee, who has cerebral palsy, would be able to use the bike in adulthood.

House No. 22: Melissa and David, Storage unit treasures 

David, an Army veteran, doesn’t hold yard sales for money. He’s picked up a new hobby: buying abandoned storage unit items through online auctions.

“I’m the guy that winds up with your stuff when you don’t pay your unit, that’s it,” he said. (David’s last name has intentionally been left out of this story at his request due to concerns that former storage unit owners might try looking for him.)

He’s found everything from copies of JFK’s inaugural address to antique bed warming pans and wall phones.

Now, he sells the items to people who need them more than he does – and for cheap. Melissa Centurion, his partner, laughs and goes along for the adventure.

She said this sale is an “attempt at having him break even or go-out-to-dinner money.”

David has spent about $2,000 over the last six months and made around $600 this weekend. Their house gets packed quickly, so this was the perfect opportunity to get rid of excess.

He said if somebody can use it and he can get a couple bucks from it, he’s happy. He also gave many items out for free all weekend.

“Did I make back what I spent?” he said. “Not even close.”

House No. 21: Christine and Cheryl Errico, Dollhouse, Harley-Davidson & crochet

The Errico sisters’ yard sale was a hit throughout the weekend. Visitors described it as “one-of-a-kind” and “not your typical yard sale.”

The star of the show was a limited edition Real Good Toys “First Lady” dollhouse replica. The original was photographed under the White House Christmas tree in 1980.

The house was gifted to Christine Errico.

It's been through two moves in about 10 years, and she hasn’t had the time to fix it up and give it proper care. The next owner will be given tools to return the house to its former glory.

They hope to give it to a “little girl or buddy who appreciates it and is gonna have fun,” Cheryl Errico said. They want it to become an heirloom in the new family, too.

All Harley-Davidson merchandise was sold out on Saturday, and Crochet work attracted the eyes of many.

The sisters raised $500 for Smile Train, an organization Christine Errico volunteers with that trains doctors in underdeveloped countries to deliver cleft surgeries and raises cleft awareness around the world.

Kimberly is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing