Tabernash church hosts legendary annual garage sale this weekend
May 15, 2008
At 4 p.m. on Friday, shoppers will be waiting at the doors of the Church of the Eternal Hills. When the doors open, they will pour into the church’s 25th annual garage sale, which has grown into something of a legendary event in Grand County.
There will be two floors full of kitchenware, furniture, clothes, toys, gardening equipment and appliances – all at bargain prices and all on sale to support a good cause.
Until 4 p.m. Friday, volunteers are sorting through mountains of donations. This year, they received more than ever before.
“It gets bigger every year,” said volunteer Libby Teitsma of Granby, as she sorted shoes. “It’s a benefit to the community. As long as it’s a benefit, we’ll keep on doing it.”
The sale’s purpose is to provide necessities to Grand County families at an affordable price.
“If you can’t find it here, you don’t need it,” said volunteer Judy Schowalter of Silver Creek. “We have stuff for everyone.”
The sale will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
“When you open the doors you just have to stand back,” said Maryan Pharo of Granby, who has been a church member for 54 years.
She has volunteered at the event for 14 years. Last year, more than 50 people were waiting at the door when the sale began.
“It’s fun,” Pharo said. “It’s just fun to be with the people.”
Many community members “stock-up” at the sale, said Sarah Wilderman, who lives outside of Fraser.
“It’s amazing how many of these clothes come in with the tags still on them,” she said. “If it has a spot on it, we throw it out.”
“If in doubt, throw it out ” is our motto,” added Schowalter. “A lot of it is brand new or very lightly used.”
Deacon Dede Fay is coordinating the sale. She said the first items to go are usually “great” clothing, outerwear, sport equipment and furniture.
“This year, we’ve got the best furniture I’ve ever seen,” she said.
Her mother, Joan Fay, came from Grand Junction to help with the sale this week.
Dede Fay estimates they will have more than 40,000 items for sale. She and about 50 other volunteers have been organizing them for the past three weeks.
“Sometimes I think I touch the same sweater 13 times before it makes it to the sale,” she said.
She estimates that about 1,000 people shop at the sale ” primarily from Grand County.
Both church members and community members participate in it, she said.
The event usually raises about $6,000.
About $1,000 of the proceeds will go to the church’s preschool scholarship program, and the remainder goes to Habitat for Humanity, Fay said.
She estimates about 70 percent of the merchandise finds a buyer.
Leftover books are donated to the library. The sale ends at 3 p.m. Saturday. At 2 p.m., non-profit organizations can take what they want for free.
The rest goes to the Goodwill in Denver, and large items are thrown away.
Fay said the volunteers are hard workers and after they eat lunch they get right back at it.
“It is amazing how people come together and make this happen,” Fay said.
Longtime deacon, Carol Schroer from Hot Sulphur Springs, donates many hours to the event.
“It’s just gotten bigger,” Schroer said. “We’re always amazed there’s this much stuff every year.”
By Sunday morning, Fay said, the church is clean.
“It’s like the day after the party,” she said. “We have a lot of volunteers who come help with the clean-up.”