Submitted by Kathy Thomas
OAKHURST – The Old Mill Village parking lot was filled with activity on Saturday, Oct. 25, as a gigantic tag sale took place inside an otherwise empty building, with a good turnout amid much support from area residents and businesses for an important on-going cause.
The Community Rummage Sale to benefit the Oakhurst Area Fire Relief Funds brought in donations amounting to over $5,000.
The balance of remaining goods collected will now be given away at no charge to anyone who can use the items. The give-away takes place on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the same Old Mill Village location as the rummage sale.
The entire event was a result of our giving community and the volunteer efforts of many people. Volunteers contributed seemingly endless hours of time working at the donation sites during the 30 days, and then put in additional hours of time moving items and sorting through donated items in the days prior to the Rummage Sale itself.
The sale came about as a grass roots community event. As donations began to come into our community for the fire victims following the devastation of the Courtney Fire, it was apparent there would be an excess of donated items. We quickly discovered that our communities’ regular donation sites were full and unable to accommodate more donations. I was able to open up a building donated by Century 21 Ditton in Bass Lake for donations, and Cindy Ratzloff and Cindy Niblett opened up a building for donations in Oakhurst.
It was when I saw that donations were coming in faster than they were going out that I decided a community-type rummage sale from leftover donated items would be a win/win, turning the excess of donated items into dollars that could then be donated to the Oakhurst Area Fire Relief Fund.
Both locations were open for over 30 days to receive and give out donations. During this time, fire victims were able to freely take donated items as needed, receiving donations of furniture, televisions, appliances, clothing, toiletries, linens, tools, gift cards and more from these locations up until the day of the Rummage Sale.
Those who came together to coordinate gathering the donated items from the two locations into a single building for the Rummage Sale were Melissa Buller, Cindy Ratzloff, Karen Bradley, Nanette Beaumont, and myself. The Rummage Sale was a labor of love and a successful community event; it was great to see the community come together to donate and give support to those who lost their homes, and also to create awareness and support for the Oakhurst Area Fire Relief Fund.
As much as I wish the Courtney Fire would be the last fire we ever see in our mountain community, I know that is not the case. I believe our ability to continue to build future resources through community involvement will create a stronger community for us all, better preparing us to help one another. I feel very blessed to be a part of it.
Russ Shaw donated use of the building in the Old Mill Village, and Brad Ditton of Century 21 Ditton Realty donated the Bass Lake facilities used. Meanwhile, Emadco, Cause for Paws, Oakhurst Cleaners and Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors (YGAOR) all donated resources. The Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary provided additional insurance for the rummage sale.
The remaining Community Rummage Sale items donated for Courtney Fire victims will be available for free this Saturday, Nov. 1, at the same location at the Old Mill Village (the old Sportsmen’s Den). Doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone in our community to come take any of the donated items. After Saturday, all remaining donated items will be given to AmVets. We will continue to accept monetary donations on Saturday for the Oakhurst Area Fire Relief Fund, however, a donation is not required to receive merchandise. All are welcome.
If you would like to volunteer to help, or have any questions, please contact Kathy Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, (559) 683-7368 or (559) 742-2288.