Successor to the popular Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale will debut Sept. 14-16 in Eagle | VailDaily.com

Successor to the popular Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale will debut Sept. 14-16 in Eagle

Ottalie Carlin sorts hats while setting up the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale at Maloit Park last summer. The sale marked both its 53rd anniversary and its final year in 2017, but volunteers have banded together to present a new event, called The Rummage Sale, planned Sept. 14-16 at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

EAGLE — The Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale celebrated its 53rd and final year in 2017, but after the efforts of a group of community volunteers, the popular late-summer event won't fade away.

During an Eagle County commissioners meeting Tuesday, June 12, Rebecca Kanaly, of the United Way of the Eagle River Valley, announced a new event — The Rummage Sale — which will be held Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

Like its popular predecessor, the sale will give residents the opportunity to work the event to earn money for community organizations and all of the sale proceeds will be donated back to community nonprofits.

While the sale itself will be conducted during a single weekend at the Eagle River Center, several community churches have agreed to act as collection points for rummage sale donations. Kanaly said a complete list of donation points will be announced in the near future.

Decades of donations

Every summer for four decades, the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale operated out of the former Minturn Middle School building at Maloit Park just south of Minturn. While the sale was only open for two weekends, collections were dropped off at the site year-round. When summer hit, volunteers went to work sorting and pricing items in preparation for the sale, and by the time the doors opened, various rooms were packed to overflowing with donated items.

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After the sale concluded, proceeds from the event were tallied and the volunteers who worked the sale on behalf of various organizations collected checks for their efforts. The total amount distributed traditionally was around $170,000.

But last fall, Eagle County Schools, which owns the Maloit Park site, told sale organizers it needed the location for about a dozen modular classrooms to accommodate 200 Red Sandstone Elementary School students while the Vail school is rebuilt.

Last fall, the school board voted to terminate the Eagle Valley Community Fund's agreement to use the Maloit Park building for its annual rummage sale.

By all indications, after 53 years, Eagle County's longest-running fundraiser was over. Or was it?

'Labor of Love'

"So much of the community has expressed support for this labor of love," said Lori Ann Barnes during Tuesday's meeting. When the community learned about the sale's plight, volunteers and organizations stepped forward.

For example, after the staff at Cordillera read a Vail Daily article about the sale's demise, they reached out to Barnes and Kanaly to offer assistance. Barnes said Cordillera proposed hosting the sale at one of its buildings, but after that suggestion proved impractical, the development staff approached the county with the proposal to hold the sale at the Eagle River Center.

The site is large enough to handle the event, but there are still some issues to resolve.

"While we are rich in spirit, we are low in funds, as such things often are," Barnes said. She asked the commissioners to waive the $350 per day Eagle River Center rental fee for the sale.

Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry asked The Rummage Sale organizers to submit a written request for the fee waiver and commended their efforts to resurrect the popular fundraiser.

"The power of passion is always great to see," Chandler-Henry said.

To learn more …

To learn more about The Rummage Sale plan, or to volunteer to help, contact info@unitedwayeagle.org.