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Tri-County Journal
August 3, 2005

CATTS Logs On To eBay to Help Raise Money for Legal Fees
StopnDrop Auctions CEO offers services for fundraiser
By: Danette Fertig-Thompson

A citizens group opposed to the construction of a trash transfer station in Jefferson County is turning to eBay to raise money for its legal fight.

The unique idea of using the online auction as a fundraiser came from Darrin Eilers, chief executive officer of StopnDrop Auctions, 12362 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur. Eilers’ business recently agreed to partner with Citizens Against the Trash Transfer Station (CATTS) with the goal of raising a significant amount of money in a short time to help pay for CATTS’ legal bills in its action against the Jefferson County Commission.

StopnDrop is the area’s only business that offers a service for turning unwanted items into cash by selling them on eBay.

For a commission, StopnDrop will do all the work of selling items on eBay, including writing and posting the listing, processing payment and shipping. Once the online auction ends, the customer gets a check in the mail for the net proceeds of the sale.

Eilers was born and raised in Pacific, and his parents, Pacific residents, are members of CATTS. When he learned about the group’s legal battle, he suggested CATTS members could raise more money in a shorter amount of time through a StopnDrop fundraiser rather than count on donations only.

“CATTS is a small group, and they can’t do this without help,” Eilers said. “Up until now, it’s been supported by donations, largely from members. This is a way for the community to really get involved.”

CATTS has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn a Jefferson County Commission decisions to rezone the trash transfer station site and to challenge a decision by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to issue a permit for the facility.

The lawsuits are pending, even though the plans for the trash transfer stations temporarily have been stalled.

The Department of Natural Resources last year issued the permit, allowing Reliable Disposal Inc., of Pacific – now IESI – to add a 5,625 square-foot trash transfer station to the existing waste processing center at the intersection of highways O and F, south of Pacific.

The site is just outside the Franklin County line, in northwestern Jefferson County. By expanding its operation there, Reliable planned to increase its waste processing to include household waste in addition to construction waste. At maximum operating capacity, the stations would have processed about 300 tons of trash per day.

Members of CATTS now hope to raise $45,000 (gross) in three months through the StopnDrop fundraiser.

Eilers said that goal can be met if 150 items per month are sold for CATTS, at an average of $100 per item.

Eilers is waiving the eBay fees for the group, but CATTS still will pay the StopnDrop commission.

What CATTS members hope is that the entire community will get involved in helping the group with its fundraising.

Eilers said a lot of his customers are businesses that have surplus or outdated equipment they want to get rid of and larger donations that could help CATTS attain its goal much quicker.

“StopnDrop fundraising doesn’t require any out-of-pocket expense, just the donations of valuable items you have lying around the house in the attic or basement or garage, or that businesses have sitting around in storage,” Eilers said.

Some popular sellers on eBay are automotive equipment, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, computers and electronics, cameras and camcorders, audio and video equipment, high-end brand purses and jewelry, video game systems, cell phones and PDAs, and cars, motorcycles, boats and ATVs, Eilers said.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to CATTS through StopnDrop can drop off their items at StopnDrop Auctions.

When dropping off items, participants must mention which items they want to donate to CATTS. If CATTS isn’t mentioned, the proceeds from the sale will be sent to the seller, not CATTS.

Eilers also said StopnDrop and CATTS are working together to set up temporary drop-off points in the community. Anyone interested in hosting a temporary drop-off point for CATTS can call Mindy Eilers at (314) 469-3767.

StopnDrop also offers free pickup service for qualified participants that have items valued at $700 or more.

StopnDrop offers on-site estimates for estates and larger quantities of items. Estimates are free, and StopnDrop professionals will take away items that sell for a minimum of $50 each.


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