Big crowd attends Touch of Class Too Thrift Shop opening

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Linda LaRue-Keniston, Mike Dean and Rep. Paul Gilbert wait for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

JAY – Touch of Class Too Thrift Shop in the Jay Plaza opened its doors on Friday, July 30 to a crowd of supporters waiting for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Karen Russell from Farmington, a long-time consumer/worker from Work First Inc. cut the ribbon and immediately went to operate the cash register with the assistance of Lynne Hall, the store manager.

State Rep. Paul Gilbert of Jay, was in attendance to welcome the new business and offer his support of the mission of Work First and the Touch of Class.

The first day was a tremendous success with sales reaching an all-time high for a grand opening. The customers from the local area shopped all day and bought many items from the shelves of small household nick knacks, books and beautiful clothing from the many racks displayed. The clothing is prepared by many of the individuals with intellectual disabilities that attend Work First. The individuals steam, sort, price, offer minor repair and hang the clothes for display to sell in the shops.

The shops are all open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. All proceeds from all three shops are used to promote the mission of employing individuals with intellectual disabilities from the local area. Work First Inc. employs 70 individuals from the surrounding area with disabilities. The three shops rely on the generous donations of the citizens surrounding Livermore Falls, Jay and Farmington area. The shops run solely on the sales made and they do not use any state, federal, or other local dollars to operate its stores.

The new store will have a bin for depositing clean used clothing within the next couple of weeks. It will be in the front of the Jay location. The Farmington location also offers two bins for convenience at the 303 Wilton Rd location.

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