Penn State/United Way “Trash To Treasure” Sale Strikes Gold

May 30, 2002
University Park, Pa. – A giant rummage sale to dispose of goods left behind by departing Penn State students is estimated to have raised more than $17,000 for the Centre County United Way over Memorial Day weekend on the University Park campus.

Of the more than 70 tons of merchandise was available for the sale, 68 tons were sold at the sale, held Saturday, May 25, in Penn State’s Ag Arena. At least one-third of the goods consisted of area rugs and clothing—some so new they still bore store tags. Other merchandise included computers, electronics, furniture, sporting goods and household products.

On the night before the sale, all area human service agencies shared in some of the bounty by being provided an opportunity to choose a modest number of free items for use by agency clients. “Early Birds” were able to enter the sale one hour early for a $5.00 fee, which netted $4,000.

One of the many positive outcomes of the sale included the rescuing of tons of trash from the landfill.

“We were thrilled to create such a win-win-win situation for the community,” said Al Matyasovsky, Penn State’s supervisor of central support services, which includes solid waste management. “To be able to recycle used but serviceable goods at rock bottom prices and benefit area charities in the effort is what our partnership with Centre County United Way is all about.”

“The outpouring of support for this effort has been tremendous,” said Ellie Beaver, executive director of Centre County United Way. “As usual, when called upon, the community has come forward with volunteers to not only sort the mountains of materials for the sale, but to come to the sale itself and buy items that would otherwise have been taken to the landfill. We are so proud that Penn State brought this project to us and that our member organizations will benefit from it.”


Contact: Tysen Kendig, Department of Public Information, (814) 865-7517 or