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Hansville sale gets biggest ever profits, crowds

HANSVILLE — The largest crowd ever descended on the Hansville Rummage sale this weekend, leaving behind empty shelves and smiling organizers.

“It feels good to sell everything out,” commented Vikki Lobberegt while watching folks pick over a few remaining items during the second day of the sale.

Organizer George Briese said about 85 percent of the 47 truckloads of items that had been donated disappeared to record crowds during the first day of sales. He attributed the success in part to a few minor adjustments to the way they do business, including having roaming cashiers ready to make a deal on the spot with larger items, and an improved parking system to decrease traffic congestion.

Another first in sale history was the donation of two vehicles, which were sold as clipboard auction items.

Lobberegt said each year support for the sale increases, as does the quality of items that are donated. She said supporting the event is an easy sell since all of the money raised goes back into the community with things like scholarships, grants and events. Organizers also hope to start putting some of the sale money away to eventually expand the Hansville Community Center, which plays host to the sale every year.

But it wasn’t just the organizers who were singing the praises of one of the largest community rummage sales in the county. Shopper Leah Henry-Eliason of Kingston spent both Saturday and Sunday hunting down bargains in Hansville. One volunteer spotted her with husband and children in tow Sunday and joked “Are you here again?”

“This is the only garage sale I go to every year,” said Henry-Eliason, adding that she usually finds at least one great deal among the items. This year’s find was a double stroller that usually retails for more than $100, for $5.

Fellow shopper Betty Decoteau of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe hadn’t found the baby bed she was looking for, but walked away happy with a stroller full of other items to take home. She said she always makes time for the Hansville event.

“My husband didn’t want to come and I told him, ‘You’d rather pay full price, but I’m going to go get some bargains.’” she said with a laugh.

The scant items left after the second day of sales were divided for donation to several local charities. Exhausted volunteers will have a couple of months reprieve, but not too long because the first donation event for the 2003 sale is in November.

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