Linens and tables and bikes, oh my!

Jeans are stacked 3-feet high, tables are reserved for sweaters, boutique items, housewares and linens, there are two rooms filled with electronics and the gymnasium resembles a large orderly flea market.

The furniture is being stored in the Park Ranch warehouse waiting to be moved to the St. Gall Catholic Church Pastoral Center just prior to the annual Awesome Rummage Sale on Aug. 4 and 5. The church has taken in approximately twice as much donations this year over last year, according to organizers.

"I have 12 cashiers that day because it's that big," said Beverly Simmons, one of five organizers of the rummage sale.

Simmons is in her fifth year of volunteering and her fourth year of helping run the rummage sale. She has been nicknamed Queen Bee or Queen Bev by the volunteers. She said 40 to more than 50 volunteers have shown up each day, five days a week, since July 5.

Volunteers separate, clean, polish and wash all the items and linens, except for the clothing, which the church only puts up for sale if it appears clean.

Not all the volunteers belong to the church, according to Simmons, who said there are two department heads not from the church who come back every year. Many volunteers return each year including members of the pick-up and unloading crew whom Simmons fondly refers to as the "Motley Crew."

Organizers take care of the volunteers, feeding them lunch and providing drinks and treats throughout the day, which probably contributes to them wanting to come back.

"It's really an awesome crew," said Nancy Reimers, in her first year of volunteering since she just moved to Carson Valley last year. "They make them feel welcome."

So much has been donated that the church is giving the overflow to local charities such as the Elks, Project Santa Claus, East Fork Gallery's scarecrow-making event, the Salvation Army, Abbey's Crossing and Friends of M.S. This year CD and soap donations are being given to the Blue Star Mothers to be sent to the troops.

"They have so much, they're able to separate quality from quantity and it still gets reused if it doesn't go here," said Reimers.

"Project Santa Claus gets the mittens and warm clothes," said Simmons. "The scarecrow-making people get jeans and plaid shirts. Abbey's Crossing gets beauty supplies and cell phones (for the 911 program). Everything left over goes to the Friends of M.S. in Reno. Last year 11Ú2 truck loads went to them.

"We try to give to the community as much as we can."

Simmons said the rummage sale is a great place to pick up baby items at a minimal cost. Other items available include large and small appliances, luggage, crafts, books, toys, shoes and bikes.

This year three vehicles have been donated and will be offered for sale. Also, a boat and trailer were donated that have already been sold. Collectibles are often appraised and sold on Ebay.

The church is still accepting donations of items from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., or items can be dropped off after hours at the back door of the pastoral center.

Simmons said last year they made $50,000 and they expect to make more this year. The rummage sale began more than 25 years ago, with the first one earning $600.

The sale will start at 7 a.m., just after a 6 a.m. communion service at the church, on both Aug. 4 and 5. It ends at 3 p.m. both days. Typically, shoppers start lining up at 6 a.m., according to Simmons. The church is located at 1343 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville. For information, call 782-2852.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 210.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment