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Before you throw that item away, take it to the Repair Fair - it might be fixable!

STAFF PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE  - From left, Randall Fastabend, Kevin Bryck and Lis Clipton, ham it up with tools they will use to repair items at the Repair Fair set for Feb. 25 at Robinwood Station. The trio are the organizers of the event, which aims to stop the cycle of consumption. Rather than replace an item when it breaks, try to fix it, they encourage.

We can fix that.

That's the attitude West Linn residents Randall Fastabend, Lisa Clipton and Kevin Bryck have as they prepare for the second-annual West Linn Repair Fair on Feb. 25 in West Linn.

The trio is all smiles at the prospect of fixing small appliances, bikes, and clothing and more — all items owners believe are broken for good. But they know differently, and with the help of other volunteers, they will rebuild, restore and rejuvenate items, seemingly as if by magic at the Repair Fair.

"People think that when something breaks, that's it — you have to replace it," Bryck said. "But that isn't always the case. If you buy good-quality products, they can usually be repaired."

"And it's fun to learn how things work and how to fix them," Fastabend said. "It's easy if you know how."

He gets great satisfaction from teaching people of all ages how to make simple repairs.

Is the cord on your vacuum cleaner split and twisted? You can learn how to replace it. People with items that aren't working are encouraged to bring them to the Repair Fair to have them fixed. Volunteers are willing to take a look at just about anything: bikes, computers, jewelry, clothing and fabric and small appliances. The Repair Fair is an effort to stop the cycle of consumption. Rather than replace an item when it breaks, try to fix it.

Previous generations learned repair skills in shop or home economics classes, but today, having those skills is not common knowledge. There are ways to learn, though, by watching YouTube videos, attending workshops at building supply stores and by attending Repair Fairs.

"We'll take the item apart and see what is wrong," Fastabend said. "Sometimes, we have to send them to the hardware store to get a part. Some folks want to learn how to fix their things, and others are just happy to have us fix them."

There will be about 10 volunteer fix-it wizards at the Repair Fair, focusing on general repairs, jewelry, computers, bikes and sewing. People are invited to bring one item to the Repair Fair.

Volunteers will do their best to fix items but do not guarantee a complete repair.

The event will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 25 at Robinwood Station, 3706 Cedaroak Drive in West Linn.

Another Repair Fair will be held in Milwaukie from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 18 at Wichita Center for Family and Community, 6031 S.E. King Road.

Donations are appreciated, so the volunteers can continue to offer the service.

Contact Lake Oswego Review/West Linn Tidings reporter Barb Randall at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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