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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Talk about a two-for-one.
If you have some closets that need cleaning and you would like to help the Colfax Municipal Building Elevator Project Committee, you can do both this summer.
The Colfax Municipal Building Elevator Project Committee is planning a thrift sale, bake sale and produce sale at the Colfax Fairgrounds August 8 through August 10.
The committee was authorized by the Colfax Village Board to begin raising money to install an elevator in the municipal building to serve all three floors, to put handicapped-accessible bathrooms on all three levels of the building and to remodel the basement so that it can be used by the Colfax Public Library and by community groups for a meeting space.
To date, the Colfax Municipal Building Elevator Fund has $45,000 pledged toward the project.
The elevator fund is a “designated fund” with the village which means money put into the fund can only be spent for the intended purpose.
The Colfax Municipal Building Elevator Committee also has a separate administrative fund to help pay for postage, posters, advertisements and other administrative costs.
The estimate for the addition to house the elevator and the bathrooms along with remodeling the basement is $700,000.
The Colfax Municipal Building, which was built in 1916, has been the home of the Colfax Public Library since the building was constructed.
In years past, the municipal building was the site for just about anything you could think of: talent shows, movies, athletic banquets, lectures, speakers, the Colfax Garden Club’s annual flower show, the earliest of the fairs in Colfax, plays, musical entertainment, Boy Scout meetings, Girl Scout meetings, bazaars held by local churches, funerals — and even a wedding.
In recent years, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has been holding monthly events in the auditorium, including Truth Be Told storytelling events for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, the 1958 Colfax Tornado and Holiday Travel. Musical entertainment has included appearances by The Stringsmiths, Poppa Bear Norton, The Britins, Duelly Noted [dueling pianos], the Eau Claire Ukulele Klub and Jim Herrick and Friends.
The Missoula Children’s Theater presented “Blackbeard the Pirate” in August of 2018, and this year’s performances in August will be “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
Also coming up this summer will be the movie, “Field of Dreams” in July, and the Church of Cash, a Johnny Cash tribute in September.
The Colfax Public Library also has held Halloween and Christmas parties for youngsters in the library with activities in the auditorium.
Even the Loony Lutherans have visited the Colfax Municipal Building’s auditorium.
The Colfax village clerk’s office is located in the building, too, and along with it, the polling place for elections.
Each of these events would be enhanced by better handicapped accessibility for the building.
The musicians often comment on how they would appreciate an elevator, too, especially as they are lugging equipment up and down the steps. [The young ladies in Duelly Noted pointed out it was particularly challenging to drag their pianos up to the auditorium.]
And that’s where the Colfax Municipal Building Elevator Project Committee comes in.
The elevator committee’s thrift sale at the fairgrounds will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, August 8; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, August 9; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 10.
As a side note, the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center will be holding their annual pig roast that weekend, too, on Friday afternoon and evening.
Food and craft vendors will be welcome at the fairgrounds on Saturday for a $10 vendor fee.
For the “produce” part of the sale, you can come and set up your own vendor space to sell your garden produce, or you can also donate produce to the elevator committee.
Donation drop-offs will be accepted at the Colfax Fairgrounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 5, 6 and 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The elevator committee cannot accept large exercise equipment, mattresses, big appliances, outdated baby furniture, outdated electronics, air conditioners or televisions.
The elevator committee can accept clothing of all kinds, books, games, antiques, collectibles, furniture, toys, kitchenware, sports equipment in good condition, lawn and garden equipment, DVD/VCR/CDs, glassware, pictures, tools, shoes and crafting items.
Freewill donations will be accepted at the thrift sale unless the items are marked with a suggested amount.
Clothing will be sold by the bag and priced at $1 per pound.
To arrange drop-offs outside of listed times, contact Mark Johnson at the Colfax Arts & Antique Mall on Main Street in Colfax or call him at 715-704-6086.