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New Canaan Sidewalk Sale Helps Promote Nonprofits, Businesses

From left: Claudia Weber, Lia Toth with 'Peewee,' Claude Colabella, and Charlotte Frank holding 'Pookie" outside the Strays & Others tent at the New Canaan sidewalk sale Saturday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The crowd checks out the various tents at New Canaan's sidewalk sale Saturday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Elizabeth Wolfe stands outside the Walin & Wolfe tent. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Youngsters do some climbing at the event. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- It wasn't only the sales that were important at the Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale in New Canaan on Saturday.

It was also a place where people could promote businesses and nonprofits, and New Canaan's Strays & Others was busy doing that Saturday.

The organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, said its founder and president Claudia Weber. She said the event helps the group to interest people in becoming volunteers and getting donations.

"We love it, and it is very important to us," said Weber, who is also New Canaan's town clerk. "This is a way that we can reach out to the community. Since we don't have a shelter facility of our own, this is our way of reaching out to the community."

The organization rescues mainly dogs and cats but has rescued three horses and some other animals during its existence, Weber said. The organization has rescued 4,500 animals in New Canaan during its 30 years, Weber said. The successful adoption rate is 96 percent.

The organization relies on volunteers to foster the animals until they can be adopted.

The town's Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale began in the 1920s when merchants put their wares on the sidewalks for sale. The event has been sponsored annually for 50 years by the New Canaan Camber of Commerce.

Kim Walin, co-owner of Walin & Wolfe, a store that sells women's designer shoes, handbags and accessories, said the day is a rewarding one.

"We do big volumes today. It's one of out biggest volume days of the year so it's a good way for us to sell merchandise," Walin said.

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