The revamped Eagle County charity auction returns in August
Life in Eagle County is punctuated by a handful of truly unique community events – the opening and closing days in Vail and Beaver Creek, the July 4th celebrations in Avon and Vail, and the fundraising charity auction. Eagle Valley community in August.
But a few years ago, it emerged that the revered charity sale – conducted in the former Battle Mountain High School building in Maloit Park in Minturn, the proceeds of which went to dozens of non-profit organizations. lucrative local – had sold his last trinket.
The sale lost its Maloit Park location in 2017 and after more than five decades the volunteers in charge of the massive effort decided it was time to retire. This was devastating news for groups that depended on funding from the sale. The event has traditionally generated over $ 120,000, which was then channeled to various non-profit organizations in the valley.
But you can’t keep a good idea down. In 2018, United Way of the Eagle River Valley stepped in to take the lead in organizing the sale and the Eagle County Board of Commissioners provided a new location for the Eagle River Center on the County Fairgrounds. . The sale returned in September 2018, smaller and smaller in size, but still offering an impressive pile of clothing, sports equipment, home goods and furniture.
Then COVID-19 struck, leading to a disruption in sales in 2020. But the event will return in 2021. It also reverted to its August schedule and accepting donations in the weeks leading up to the actual sale. It’s great to go back to those traditional characteristics, noted Rebecca Kanaly, Executive Director of United Way of the Eagle River Valley.
“Everyone at the United Way of the Eagle River Valley and all of the clearance sale people who have maintained this over the years are so inspired by the community’s desire to come back and have this clearance sale,” Kanaly said. . “Everyone thinks the community needs the sale as part of our recovery from COVID. “
The dates for the * new * Eagle County clearance sale are Friday through Sunday August 27-29. But work is already underway for the event. This means that sales organizers need volunteers and donations, and they are mobilized to accept both.
Lots of hands, lots of stuff
Since the closure of the Maloit park site, collections for the clearance sale have been a challenge. It’s hard to mount a sale that prides itself on shear volume without a place to store all those donated treasures.
“They had so much inventory in the past that they could collect all year round,” Kanaly noted.
The new sale is not yet in the year round collections stage, but organizers have significantly expanded the collection schedule. Starting in June, they began storing donations at the Edwards Youth Closet and Toy Chest location – a large space located behind Subway at the Northstar Center in Edwards. Donations can be deposited there at any time. In addition, Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Eagle is a drop-off site for sales donations.
For residents who cannot make it to these lower valley locations, donations can also be dropped off at Avon FirstBank on Saturdays.
The same long-standing donation guidelines still apply: is an item clean, in good condition, and working? If the answer to these three questions is yes, the clearance sale will gladly accept it.
Kanaly noted that some donations come in small grocery bags. Others come to the house.
“We have had several people who have donated to the sale who are aging out of their current home,” she said. “They called me specifically because they are longtime clearance sales volunteers. They said they wanted to donate, but warned me that they probably had trucks full of stuff. “
Kanaly told these enthusiastic donors to do so. “I am very honored to give them a place to pass on their beloved household possessions,” she said. “And that’s a lot of things.”
The volunteers of the clearance sale are already at work to organize the reception.
“We’re sorting clothes better than ever and that should make it easier to buy clothes this year. Really, this is what we want. We strive to make the shopping experience very user-friendly and inviting, ”said Kanaly.
This extra effort requires more workers, and as businesses across the valley can attest, it’s a problem.
Ask for help
“We really need volunteers,” Kanaly continued. “Like all other establishments in the service sector at the moment, we are struggling to find workers.”
Working at the clearance sale is not a lucrative proposition for the volunteer, but it brings money to the organization of their choice. This year there are 57 nonprofits to choose from.
“I want to stress how cool it is to volunteer to earn money for your service group,” Kanaly said.
In 2018 and 2019, more than 150 individual volunteers invested more than 3,300 hours of work to stage the sale. “It’s huge in terms of volunteering and a feat to move mountains,” Kanaly said.
She noted that there are three general categories of volunteers:
- Saturday to August 14: Volunteers are needed at the Avon and Eagle collection sites to manage donations. There is also room for several volunteers at the Edwards site to process the inventory.
- Wednesday August 25 to Friday August 27: Volunteers needed to organize inventory on tables and shelves at Eagle River Center. Department heads must decide on the appearance of the section and the number of volunteers needed.
- From Friday August 27 to Sunday August 29: on sale days, volunteers organize the event and keep things in order. Sunday volunteers pack the leftovers for the move.
Currently, there are approximately 1,500 volunteer hours available on the sign-up sheet. To donate time to the sale, visit TheRummageSale.org.
This website is also packed with information on selling, including a list of items that can be donated, a list of participating nonprofits, and directions to the selling site.
“A lot of our donors and buyers love that we have the sale again in August,” Kanaly added. “And yes, we have tons of stuff already, ready to sell.”