Instead of becoming garbage, a long list of items will be upcycled or repurposed to raise money for a good cause.
The sixth “Trash to Treasure” fundraiser will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, from 7 to 11 p.m., at Cork and Kerry Tavern, 10614 S. Western Ave.
Raising funds for Pat Mac’s Pack, a local non-profit named in honor of a Beverly teen who succumbed to pediatric brain cancer, the event will feature a silent auction in which attendees bid on donated items that have been spruced up instead of being thrown out.
Dee McNamara hosted the inaugural event in her backyard, and now it raises money in memory of her son, Patrick McNamara.
Pat Mac’s Pack hosts fundraising events throughout the year, and she said “Trash to Treasure” is an opportunity for a fun night out.
“We just want to do something with friends,” McNamara said, “and if we make a few bucks doing it, so be it.”
Admission is $10, which includes a free drink ticket. A raffle will also be held.
McNamara was inspired to base the first event in 2013 off “Flea Market Flip,” an HGTV program that challenges people to repurpose flea market finds on a limited budget.
She asked friends to donate to the charity of their choice that night, and the following year, when it was held in friend Lucy Beemsterboer’s yard, funds supported Live Like John, another local organization that supports research on pediatric brain cancer.
Funds were donated to Pat Mac’s Pack in 2015 after it became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Last year’s event featured about 80 items, McNamara said, and raised about $10,000.
The display of items was spread throughout two rooms at Cork and Kerry, and Beemsterboer said the goal is simple.
“Get people together, have some fun and raise some money for a great cause,” Beemsterboer said. “I think that’s really kind of how we feel.”
Items span a wide range of categories. Some people have donated items similar to “Little Free Libraries,” which are small, wooden shelters featuring free books, and one person once repurposed a giant Jenga game.
Another donation was a handmade headboard sourced from Saugatuck, Mich.
McNamara said “one of the cutest things that pulled on my heart strings” was a child who donated a sewing table that he had “bedazzled.”
“It was the thought that counted,” McNamara said. “It was such just a sweet little thing to do.”
Other donations have included lamps made of a croquet set and a gumball machine. Homemade bars were popular at one event.
Auction winners are encouraged to bring their items home that night, or for an additional fee, they can be delivered.
All the items will go for bargain prices, McNamara said, but the “most important thing” is that funds will go toward supporting cancer patients.
Patrick McNamara died at age 13 in 2011 after battling cancer throughout his life. Pat Mac’s Pack donates 60 percent of its funds to research at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and 40 percent goes to families, many of them local.
Pat Mac’s Pack officials said they are proud to now work with Alicia Lenzen, a Beverly resident and pediatrician at Lurie’s.
Pat Mac’s Pack also hosts a 100-kilometer bike ride to Long Beach, Ind., every summer, a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser every March at St. Barnabas Elementary School and an annual fundraiser downtown at Kendra Scott Jewelry.
The charity has raised about $1 million over the years.
This year’s raffle prize offers a home makeover, including consultation with Furniture Facelift, run by the mother-daughter duo of Karen Doubek and Molly Fitzgerald, of Beverly; a $300 gift card to HomeGoods; and three gallons of paint along with painting supplies at the Sherwin Williams in Evergreen Park.
Tickets are $20.
“It’s a really good value,” McNamara said.
Six years ago, the inaugural event raised about $1,000, and subsequent editions raised about $8,000 each.
Now, “Trash to Treasure” brings in five figures.
McNamara said upcycling and repurposing old items has found a niche in Beverly.
“It’s a really popular thing right now,” McNamara said. “I think people like it.”
For more information about Pat Mac’s Pack, visit the website at patmacspack.org.