A collective sigh of relief must have come from the St. Peter Church parish this year when three young adults from the Mayorga family came forward to lead this year's barn sale effort. Correct?
Not exactly, said Rama Canney, volunteer and communications coordinator for the Geneva church on Kaneville Road.
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"Actually, people were inspired by it," Canney said of Matt, Mike and Mandy Mayorga volunteering to spearhead the massive project.
"They grew up with the barn sale and, more importantly, they saw the good effects it had on people who were buying the items, who otherwise couldn't afford the things they were buying," Canney added.
The Mayorgas, inspired by their parents, Luanne and Miguel, who chaired the barn sale four years ago, have helped with the past seven fundraisers. St. Peter is in its seventh year of a 10-year commitment to be in charge of the event.
In three years, Holy Cross Church in Batavia is expected to take it over for the next 10-year slot.
"It's the first time in 30 years that we do not have middle-aged people leading the effort," Canney said.
And it's attracted even more young people to the cause, Mandy Mayorga said during last weekend's final drop-off and sorting of merchandise in the church parking lot.
"Four younger people are chairing departments of the project," she said.
The Mayorga siblings, all currently attending community colleges, say the commitment nearly becomes 24/7 for the next few weeks leading up to the Sept. 14-15 event at the Kane County Fairgrounds.
"We are thinking about the barn sale constantly now, but otherwise it's usually just Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings when items are being dropped off," Matt Mayorga said.
Matt takes some credit for getting his siblings involved. "I kind of jumped on it and told Mandy we had to carry this torch," Matt said.
Mike Mayorga admitted it took more to convince him.
"I was the last one to agree because I was kind of nervous about it," Mike said. "It's a lot of work."
Not knowing how many volunteers will show up each weekend is the most difficult part of this huge church fundraiser, Matt said.
"We have to make sure we have enough volunteers each time," he added.
Past organizers have estimated it takes about 500 volunteers to make the barn sale happen.
Volunteers have unloaded about 13 semitrailers full of various items, from furniture pieces to appliances and toys. The activity taking place last weekend indicated it was not one in which lack of volunteers would be a concern.
"Our next task is to take everything over to the fairgrounds soon," Matt said. "We have been blessed with really good weather in the past, and we're hoping for more."
Another big fundraiser: In another example of big projects needing big volunteer turnouts, the Alice Gustafson School PTO is seeking volunteers and sellers for the major fundraising effort Sept. 13-14 at the school's annual clothing and toy resale in Batavia.
This marks the 28th year in which the school's PTO has raised funds for its activities through the sale.
But participants can do well for themselves, getting 60 percent of the funds received for what they sell, with the rest going to the PTO.
Those interested in selling, donating or volunteering can call resale chairwoman Jill Stevens at (630) 326-9298 or visit agspto.org.
A good feeling: It doesn't take a whole lot to make fellow human beings feel good about the world they live in.
A group of ladies exercising early one morning last week near the water fountain at the Batavia Depot Pond spotted a folded up dollar bill with a note clipped to it.
The note said: "May all your days be filled with happiness, love and wealth! Brightest blessings!"
Even though a dollar found is a dollar earned, it was the note that meant the most. The ladies agreed it was an excellent way to start their days.
Those vital naps: St. Charles author Jay Payleitner is at it again, publishing another family self-help book that carries helpful messages. The latest, "52 Things Husbands Need from their Wives," has what I consider a vitally important chapter.
In a chapter titled "To Learn the Lessons of the Nap," Payleitner talks about how energizing an afternoon nap can be after a day or week of work and stress has piled up.
In my home it's called "resting my eyes," because I have found that even a 15-minute snooze on a Saturday afternoon can't be beat.
The lesson of the chapter: It's a great idea for both husband and wife to seek quiet rest when it is needed.
Slice of Americana: So many local residents, who were either born in Wisconsin or went to college in that state, have told us the farmers market in Madison is a must-attend event.
Because our son now lives there, it was a natural for us to go visit on a weekend and take in this slice of Midwest Americana known as the Madison Farmers Market.
It lived up to its billing. The weather was great, which helps any sort of event at this time of year. But it was an incredible phenomenon, as thousands of people milled around the market, which is set up in the town square surrounding the Capitol building.
It's amazing how many people we talk to who say they have been to Madison to experience this event. If you aren't one of those, give it some thought.
The construction on I-90 makes it a bit of a pain to get up there these days, but it's still only a little more than two hours away. Well worth it for a daylong visit.