Church rummage sale hits 114-year mark

Longtime area resident June Smith reminisced about her 15 years as chair of the First Presbyterian Church rummage sales. “I believe our rummage sales have provided a real service to people in our area who have real struggles and need our bargain merchandise,” she said.

The 153-year-old church in White Bear Lake has conducted one or two sales per year for the past 113 years. After a one-year lapse, the sale will resume April 27 – 29 with several changes as Smith passes the leadership to Carla Nielsen.

“We’ve heard over and over that we have the best-organized sale our customers have ever attended,” Smith remarked. Nielsen will have a whole storage room of Smith’s sorting boxes, table signs, jewelry racks, directional signs and more to choose from as the sale moves from 11 rooms on three floors to one accessible main floor.

The sale at First Presbyterian Church will also feature new hours and new bargain-day discounts.

Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 28; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 29.

Saturday bargains will include a buy-one-get-one-free offer and a 90 percent discount the last hour of the sale. No furniture, TVs, computers or stereos will be offered at this year’s sale. Other household items, clothing, toys, jewelry, books, shoes, purses, appliances, gift items and much more will be for sale at bargain prices.

Norma Lowrie of White Bear Lake started the rummage sale jewelry department 20 years ago, organizing and pricing items.

Her son Bill, an online antique dealer, has helped identify valuable pieces among the donated items. Great finds have included a nickel silver belt buckle with faux turquoise stones that sold for £60; an onyx and diamond ring brought £95. Other valuable pieces were two diamond rings, two cameos, two watches at £100 each, and other valuable brooches and belt buckles.

Fantastic bargain discoveries can be found at this sale.

Every year some mysterious item shows up at the rummage sale.

Volunteer saleswoman Dorothy Suchor says, “We put a sign on these objects that reads, ‘Free to anyone who can guess what this gadget is used for,’ but we never gave one away.”

Half of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to Solid Ground, a White Bear Lake organization that houses and provides a helping hand to those working their way out of poverty.

The other half will be used for other mission needs throughout the year.

Shop to benefit yourself and others at the same time.

— Submitted

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