Joe Hillers likes to tinker with motors and small engines.
And that’s a good thing for the Coupeville Lions Club.
Hillers grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa and spent 35 years as a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Washington State University.
Fixing mechanical things comes naturally for Hillers, which benefits the Lions Club this time of year.
Lots of motor-powered items will be for sale when the widely anticipated 36th Coupeville Lions Garage Sale takes place June 27-28 at Coupeville Elementary School.
Not all of those items come to the Lions in working order.
That’s where Hillers comes in.
“I want it to run,” Hillers said.
Four barns full of donated items will be transferred to the elementary school by a truck caravan in time for a public preview from noon until 6 p.m. Friday, June 26.
The Coupeville Lions Garage Sale, in its 36th year, goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
More than 100 volunteers make the massive garage sale possible, including help from non-Lions members in the community and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, said Julian Sayers, the event’s chairperson.
“It’s really a bonafide community wide or regional event,” he said.
So many items came in that the Lions had to stop accepting donations for the second year in a row because they ran out of space to store them, Sayers said.
“We filled up,” Sayers said, referring to four barns where items are stored.
Donations this year include two riding lawn mowers, an electric table saw, wood chipper, drill press, several lawn mowers, a boat with a trailer and a gas-powered generator.
There’s also a 1992 silver Honda Accord station wagon.
“It was really babied over its entire lifetime,” Sayers said.
Money raised from the garage sale goes back into the community through various causes the Lions Club supports.