Friday, September 29, 2006

Barn yard bargains return

Community School garage sale set for Saturday


By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer

Volunteers Beverley Robertson, left, with Lisa Lynn, organize hundreds of toys in preparation for the Barn Sale event this weekend. More than a hundred volunteers enable The Community School garage sale to happen. Photo by Willy Cook

This week, a volunteer steamed a floral patterned cashmere sweater to prepare it for sale. The garment joined a rack of cashmere sweaters and silk shirts.

The merchandise will not be sold in a high-end Ketchum or Sun Valley store, but at The Community School Barn Sale at the school's Sagewillow Campus in Elkhorn.

"I think what sets The Community School sale apart from other sales is the quality of the donations," said Deborah Fox, a co-chair.

This year's event will not disappoint. Thousands of treasures up for grabs include boutique-quality clothes, a Jet Ski, leather furniture, signed art prints and teak lawn furniture.

Sale organizers expect thousands of Idaho residents to attend the Barn Sale Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, in search of bargain-priced treasures.

"We have an incredible selection of items. We have been collecting for five months, and it shows in the products we get," said Laura Grabow, a co-chair.

Organizers began collecting items in May. Since the spring, volunteers have been hard at work sorting the abundant donated goods. The magnitude of the sale requires four co-chairs to head the event. A dedicated group of volunteers are on hand to assist.

"It's a lot of work, but it's fun," said Beverley Robertson, a volunteer.

Robertson volunteers in the toy department, which overflows with Legos, puzzles, stuffed animals and games. Smaller items are placed in sealed grab bags.

The volunteers shrink-wrap nearly every toy to prevent lost game pieces or doll's shoes. With the plastic wrapping, it's easy to forget the toys are not brand new.

"It just looks nicer," said Robertson.

With the plentiful, well-packaged donations, the toy department resembles a well-stocked children's store, rather than a rummage sale. The same can be said throughout the barn.

All donations are distributed among separate departments, carefully organized into appropriate sections such as winter sports, books, electronics and linens. During the sale, maps posted on the walls will show the layout of the barn to help to orient shoppers.

The large-scale garage sale began years ago as a one-day, one-car garage fund-raiser. Over the years, the sale has morphed into a large-scale affair, culminating in an annual two-day bargain hunt.

The shopping experience benefits the Sun Valley-based school, while encouraging recycling and economic shopping for the greater community. Some shoppers outfit their families for the upcoming year, on a small budget, while others furnish high-end homes.

As they say, one person's refuse is another person's treasure.

If You Shop

The Community School Barn Sale happens 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Sagewillow Campus, in Elkhorn (follow the signs past the Elkhorn Fire Station off Morning Star Road). The annual "bag sale" occurs on Sunday. Admission is $2. Details: 622-3561.




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