June Conley has lived on Malbons Mills Road in Skowhegan since the 10 Mile Yard Sale began 35 years ago.

She hasn’t always participated in the annual event, but in the last six years it has become a way to raise money to fight the disease that took the life of her husband, Ed.

Since Ed’s death in 2012, June and members of the Conley Clan – as the backs of their matching purple T-shirts identify them – have been donating the money they’ve made from their sale to the Alzheimer’s Association to fund research efforts.

Shoppers browse merchandise at the 35th annual yard sale.

“Since he died of it, it’s just been close to our hears, and we just wanted to keep remembering him,” Conley said Saturday morning in her front yard.

The items for sale in the Conley’s yard Saturday were as random as the rest of the stretch through Skowhegan, Cornville and Athens. The list included clothing, a dog cage, paperback books and children’s toys – much of which was donated to the family for the sale.

The Conleys, who also were serving hot dogs, were among the many selling food to hungry shoppers making their way through the line of secondhand treasures. Customers could fuel up elsewhere on lobster rolls, french fries and other goodies along the busy route lined with traffic.

Conley said the family’s yard sale typically raises about $1,000 each year.

“I think the biggest year was $1,300,” Conley said.

Her husband of 55 years was well-known throughout Skowhegan because he was a town selectman and worked at the local Hannaford. The family described Ed as a caring, generous person to those in his life.

“So it’s pay-it-back time now, I guess,” Conley said.

The yard sale isn’t the only way the family is paying back Ed’s generosity. Each year the clan participates in the association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is scheduled to take place in October in Waterville.

Additionally, they sell pumpkins and have a bottle drive to raise more money.

“It never stops,” Ed and June Conley’s daughter, Julie True, said of their fundraising efforts. “But Alzheimer’s never stops. Someone dies of it every day.”

Conley said her husband struggled with the disease for two years, spending six months in a nursing home.

“It wasn’t too, too bad, but bad enough.” Conley said of his battle. “People have had it worse.”

Julie True said a lot of people stop by their yard and give donations without buying anything. Many of them, she said, mention someone they know who has been affected by the disease.

“It’s surprising,” True said.

The Conley Clan and others will be up by 8 a.m. Sunday for the sale’s second day, rain or shine.

Emily Higginbotham can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: EmilyHigg

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