DOVER -- The Community Hospice garage sale may not be the largest nor longest such event in the United States, but for serious garage and yard sale shoppers, it is a must-attend event.

The 25th annual sale, held July 31 and Aug. 1 and 2 at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds at Dover, offers more than 21,592 square feet of sales space.

"We believe it is the largest sale in the state of Ohio under roof," said Jackie Ley, one of the chairmen for the event.

Last year, residents of Tuscarawas, Stark and Carroll counties donated hundreds of thousands of items, enough to raise more than $58,000.

That money helps Community Hospice patients who don't have insurance, have large co-pays or experience other care-related expenses. The cost to provide hospice care for a patient averages about $150 a day.

"This year's goal is $60,000," said Ley. "Big ticket items are a great boost for this event. Over the past several years we have had campers, cars and boats donated." A bass boat donated last year generated $5,100.

The garage sale committee is looking for another big-ticket item to sell this year. If you have a large item to donate, call the Community Hospice office at (330) 343-7605. Donations are tax deductible.

Volunteers will accept donations at the fairgrounds July 15 and 26 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It takes nearly 300 volunteers to organize and operate the sale including Dover High soccer players and New Philadelphia High student council members who pitch in, Ley said.

More than 20 businesses contributed in some way ranging from providing sheets of plywood for tables and shopping carts for merchandise to items for sale.

The past 24 Community Hospice garage sales have raised more than $400,000 for the organization.