Spirit of Oktibbeha: Johnson organizes fundraising effort

Treasurer for the Oktibbeha County Chapter of NARFE, Everlyn Johnson, organized an event that raised $603.70 for Alzheimer's research. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

Local National Active and Retired Federal Employee Treasurer Everlyn Johnson coordinated an event that raised $603.70 for Alzheimer's research this weekend.

The money raised at Johnson's Home, Lawn and Garden Sale this weekend will add to the amount the NARFE Oktibbeha County Chapter 968 raises each year to send to the Alzheimer's Association.

In many recent years, local NARFE members have raised more for the Alzheimer's Association than any other chapter in Mississippi.

"We work really hard, we really do," Johnson said. "I have been treasurer for six years and for most of those six years, we have been number one."

Johnson said a few years ago she attended an event at the Starkville Sportsplex called a Home Swap, where vendors were set up in the building to sell different goods. She had hoped someone would organize another event like it. When no one did, she brought it up to NARFE during a meeting and they liked the idea of hosting one.

Planning for the event began in May. Johnson hoped to get a weekend during August for the Home, Lawn and Garden Sale but was told that the venue was booked.

"Then, a couple of weeks later I got a call that said the event that was scheduled for the first weekend of August was cancelled, and I said we'll take it," Johnson said. "With school starting and people moving into the apartments, people would probably be looking for bargains."

Johnson sold left-over supplies from a fabric store she used to own, helped set up NARFE's tables and invited other vendors to set up booths, as well.

"Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was there raising money for their fall fundraiser," Johnson said. "A woman who works at MSU set up a booth. In all we had four vendors."

Different businesses around Starkville donated supplies to the NARFE booth and all proceeds went to Alzheimer's research. There were goods left over, and Johnson said the group might discuss setting up at the city-wide tailgate to sell the left over goods, and will donate what is not sold there to the Palmer Thrift Store.

Johnson said she might coordinate another sale next summer and invite more vendors to sign up to participate in the event.