GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – It’s one of the most favorite sales of the year for bargain hunters — and it’s happening this weekend, in Grand Rapids. Hundreds of thrift shoppers and those who love to shop on a dime will attend the annual White Elephant Sale.
All of the money raised during the two-day event goes to support a very worthy cause.
“It’s a lot of work. But, it is kind of fun,” said Bill Streeter, with the Grand Rapids YMCA Service Club. “We are building a discovery center out at the YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. When you see the improvements that go on at the camp it makes all the work we put in here all worthwhile.”
This is the 79th year members of the YMCA Service Club has held the sale to raise money for the camp’s capital improvement fund. Streeter says they could not do it without the support of the community.
“It is amazing what we get and when we get it. Actually, we will start sending a truck out to pick up donations next week, already, for next year’s sale,” said Streeter. “We have some of our faithful that love to donate. There are faithful that love to come and shop. They come in every year. And, there are new people donating. We have no idea what each year holds.”
The sale is happening Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, at a shopping plaza storefront located at 3450 Plainfield NE. Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., on Friday, shoppers can get first crack at merchandise during the early bird admission. The cost is $5. Admission is free for the duration of the sale.
Regular shopping hours are 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the sale runs from 9 a.m until 3 p.m.
“But, if we are still going strong we will keep going,” said Streeter. “People are lined up before the doors open. Last year, I think we had 300 people for our early bird special. West Michigan has been tremendous in supporting this project.”
Streeter boasts that shoppers can find just about anything at the White Elephant Sale. West Michigan based Wolverine Worldwide donated more than 300 pair of new shoes for the group to sell.
“We have a what I call a garage sale on steroids. Also, throw in American Pickers. We try to find the unusual items and offer them,” he said with pride. “I think people like it because they like to come in and say ‘hey, what’s here.’ And, because they are saving money.”
More information on the White Elephant Sale can be found here.
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