Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale returns to Minturn this weekend
MINTURN — The Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale returns to Maloit Park for the 52nd year Saturday. Housed in a former school south of town, there are 14 rooms and a few tents filled with bargains.
One room is filled with books, another with toys, another with linens. There’s a room with housewares, one with electronics, a tent full of new items and a jeans and sweater room, along with rooms with women’s, men’s, children’s and infant wear.
“If you need work clothes or a special outfit for a family wedding, you’ll find it at the rummage sale,” said longtime county resident Marka Moser. “It’s a great place to put together Halloween costumes, as well as outfitting the family with ski clothing and ski or snowboard equipment.”
VI THE POWER
After chairing the event for 49 years, longtime Vail local Vi Brown retired a few years ago. The new co-chairs are Tom Russo and Nancy Nottingham. Nottingham said it took two people to fill Brown’s shoes.
“Vi had done such a wonderful job keeping us going for all those years, we felt we needed to continue,” Nottingham said. “We have many, many groups in the county that rely on the sale for fundraising.”
The proceeds from the sale benefit more than 75 local nonprofit groups. Volunteers can designate hours to the organization of their choice, and funds are distributed depending on those volunteer hours. Each year the sale makes about $185,000, with between $120,000 and $130,000 given out to the nonprofit groups. Those groups range from senior citizens to preschools, Boy Scouts to high school sports and dance teams, Eagle Valley Historical Society to the Eagle Valley Humane Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hospice, Walking Mountains Science Center, Red Ribbon Project, SOS Outreach, Eagle Valley Horse Rescue, Small Champions, Vail Performing Arts Academy, Jack’s Place, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Literacy Project.
“It’s a countywide effort, and it benefits the whole county,” Nottingham said. “We all come together for this and everyone has fun.”
SCHOOLED IN RUMMAGE SALES
Nottingham’s experience with rummage sales as fundraisers dates back to the 1960s in Eagle County. She worked on the original Vail rummage sale as a fundraiser to pay for an elementary school in Vail.
“When they built the first hospital building at the east end of the medical center in Vail, they were going to leave the upstairs unfinished, and the Vail parents at that point got the school district to agree to staff it with two teachers, because we did not have an elementary school in Vail,” Nottingham recalls. “They loaned us $50,000, and we started having the rummage sale to pay off that debt. It took us from ’68 to ’73 to pay off our $50,000.”
That was the genesis of the first county-wide community fund, of which Brown and Nottingham were members.
The fact that the Eagle Valley Community Fund rummage sale is housed in a former school house owned by the school district can be attributed to that original partnership between the community fund and the school district.
“The school district has always made their buildings available for the rummage sale,” Nottingham said. “Now we’re working on a five-year lease to keep that going.”
To get there, take the Minturn exit off of Interstate 70, drive trough Minturn, turn right at Maloit Park, and follow the signs to parking and the sale. Doors will open at 6:45 a.m. Saturday. There will also be a silent auction tent, and Sue’s Cafe with coffee, lemonade and donuts. The sale will continue Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then will reconvene next weekend from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 27 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 28, with all items half price. There is a $1 admission on Saturdays only. Lunch will be served all but the final day.
It would be really hard to spark a wildfire anywhere near Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek right now. Still, unattended campfires will always draw attention.