Ready to rummage: Hansville volunteers prepare for annual sale

HANSVILLE — Rummage Sale volunteer Suzanne Paulson had her corner of the Greater Hansville Community Center nearly in order on Wednesday.

Silver platters sparkled. Barbie dolls lazed in a basket. An entire section of Asian crafts were arranged as neatly as a souvenir stand.

Paulson can enjoy the calm for a few more days. When the gates open for the Rummage Sale on Saturday morning, shoppers will descend in flocks.

"They just swarm through and start grabbing stuff," Paulson said. "It will never look like this again."

The antiques and collectibles stand is one of the more popular corners of the expansive Hansville Rummage Sale, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Greater Hansville Community Center. Last Thursday, Paulson and a host of volunteers began hauling, sorting and pricing the thousands of donations to the sale, ranging in size from earrings to a camper trailer.

The task is even more mountainous this year, as contributions rose about 10 percent, Community Center President Fred Nelson said. Donors have been especially generous with furniture, which accounts for some of the biggest ticket items at the sale.

"A few years ago when we weren't getting many big ticket items, we blamed it on the economy," said Judy Tallman, who coordinates volunteers for the sale. "Is the economy improving? I don't know."

Nelson hopes the overflowing furniture tent and full tables will give the Community Center a fundraising boost. The sale raked in about $30,000 three years ago, but sales dropped off slightly over the last two years.

Rummage Sale money keeps the center's doors open.

"Without it we could never be able to maintain the community center," Nelson said.

For now, volunteers are focused on turning donation piles into organized displays.

The Community Center begins collecting donations in January. They are received in an annex at Buck Lake Park, then stored in a state-owned boathouse near Point No Point, and a few garages around town.

Last week volunteers began shuttling the donations back to Buck Lake Park to be priced and organized.

Furniture, clothing and sporting goods tents fill half the Community Center's parking lot. The annex is crammed with tools and electronics. Inside the center, dishes, paintings and collectibles are arranged on long tables and along walls.

Many of the volunteers who bustled between stands on Tuesday have been giving time to the sale for years.

Paulson has helped arrange antiques and collectibles for about eight years. She enjoys socializing with other volunteers and the knowledge she picks up researching and pricing the goods in her corner.

"Each year is something different," she said.

Outside, Carl Berg was sorting a batch of antique hand tools. He estimated he's volunteered at the sale for 12 years.

One thing keeps him coming back.

"I love the people," he said.

Ready to rummage?

The Greater Hansville Area Rummage Sale runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Items are half priced on Sunday and free beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday.

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