Rec center raises money for new bus

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Galax department using yard sale to help buy new bus for seniors, children

By April Wright, Reporter

The Galax Recreation Center will host a “Buy the Bus” indoor yard sale Saturday in conjunction with the Lord's Acre Sale at Felts Park, in an effort to raise $50,000 to buy a new 15-passenger activity bus to be used for seniors and children.
The 1998 transit bus being used to take seniors and children on trips has more than 100,000 miles on it.
“Money is tight everywhere,” said Dave Nelson, director of the Galax Recreation Center. “We're just trying to offset the cost for when we're ready for a new bus in the next year or two.”
The center needs donations of clean, usable items — from glassware to furniture. Bring items by the recreation center on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clothing is not being accepted.
“For some seniors, this is their only form of transportation, especially for going on shopping trips during the holidays,” said Mike Dees, director of the senior activities program at the center. “It gets a lot of use.”
Seniors use the bus for trips out to eat, shopping, overnight vacations and day trips throughout the area. And the bus takes children on after-school trips and other activities, such as skating and to the movies. Seniors and children take between 25 to 30 trips per year, ranging anywhere from Hillsville to Christiansburg to Myrtle Beach to Ohio.
Organizers say they hope that the mailbox — with a painted bus on it that reads “Buy the Bus” and an open donation slot — will bring in some funds, along with other fundraisers planned throughout the year.
Once the new bus is received, the current bus will be retired and used as a backup.
The Y's Menettes Club donated $100 and challenges individuals and organizations to match and exceed that figure, said Dees. The Bridge Club has donated $375.
So far, with the campaign that began in August, $1,000 has been raised.

The indoor yard sale is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the first floor gym.