New rummage sale shares more than $22,000 with local non-profits |

New rummage sale shares more than $22,000 with local non-profits

Representatives from 36 local non-profit groups collect their checks from the Rummage Sale of Eagle County. The distribution was celebrated Dec. 6 at Battle Mountain High School.
Special to the Daily

EAGLE — The Rummage Sale of Eagle County, the successor to the popular Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale, netted $22,440 last summer.

In the spirit of its predecessor, the sale has given all that money away.

Back in 1965, the community fund sale began and for 53 years it was valley institution. For several decades, it was held at the former Battle Mountain High School building at Maloit Park just outside of Minturn. But when Eagle County Schools needed the site to accommodate Red Sandstone Elementary School students while the Vail school was rebuilt, the sale found itself without a home. Additionally, Vi and Byron Brown, the stalwart volunteers who had organized the event every year, were ready to retire that responsibility.

However, a group of community residents was unwilling to let the event — which they called one of the valley’s crown jewels — die away. The reorganized effort, led by the United Way of Eagle River Valley, gave the sale a new name and staged the event last September at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. At a recent meeting of the Eagle County commissioners, that board decided that the sale could use the facility rent-free.

Earlier this month, the new rummage sale hosted its check distribution event at Battle Mountain High School. Representatives from 36 nonprofits were given donations, based on the number of hours their individual volunteers worked the sale.

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Valued Tradition

Rebecca Kanaly, executive director of United Way of Eagle River Valley, said the sale is an honored and valued valley tradition.

“We provided our community with a meaningful opportunity to give their time and goods to our fellow neighbors,” Kanaly said. “We connected people with some exquisite items and also gave families affordable and much needed good quality clothes, shoes and more. We turned our communities’ rummage into treasures — a process that helped our community, our nonprofits, our neighbors and our friends.”

The items donated to the sale that were not sold were shared with local churches and sent to an African village on the Ivory Coast.

As for what’s next, Kanaly said the event plans to return next year with a long-term goal of bringing the sale back to its former glory — raising more than $150,000 annually.

“We are still looking or a permanent home,” she said. “We will refine our processes utilizing lessons learned this year to make it easy and fun for organizations to earn more money.”

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