Vail Mountain School hosts annual garage sale
VAIL – We’re coming into the summer garage sale season, and there’s a big one this weekend – Vail Mountain School’s 19th annual garage sale fund-raiser.
The sale benefits the school’s “parent partners,” which uses money from the sale to help the school pay for extras such as field trips, speakers and programs at the Walking Mountains Science School.
Gail Brandt, a Mountain School graduate who now has two daughters there, has been involved with the sale for about the last six years, and has run the event for the last four. In the years she’s run the event, the sale has spilled out of the dining hall and into the school’s auxiliary gym, thanks to an always-increasing flow of donations.
Brandt said the donations change every year. Sometimes there may be more sporting goods; some years there may be more clothing or electronic gear. This year, there’s a load of furniture and artwork from the former Vail Plaza Hotel, which was remodeled before opening as The Sebastian in the fall of last year. The school benefited because one of the top people at the hotel has kids at the school.
Given the size of the sale, it’s obvious that people beyond the school’s parents contribute. Brandt said those donations often come from friends and business associates of school parents.
School spokeswoman Emily Tamberino said Wednesday she’d already seen some interesting items being sorted in the dining hall.
“We have a Dean Martin singing doll,” Tamberino said. “There’s some patio furniture, and the artwork and posters from the old Vail Plaza are being marked at $5 each.”
Brandt said she’s seen a full-length fox fur coat among the donations, along with plenty of less-controversial items, including a kitchen sink.
And, as anyone who’s run their own garage sale knows, putting this sale together is a lot of work.
“We started Tuesday, and we’ll be working straight through to 3 p.m. on Friday,” Brandt said. “It’s a lot of work, but we have a lot of fun, too – we call it a ‘fun fund-raiser.'”
So what’s the strategy?
People willing to pay to attend the early-bird session today get their pick of the items, but Brandt waiting can pay off, too.
“On Saturday afternoon, there are some amazing deals,” she said. “We donate everything left over to the (August) community rummage sale, but we don’t want to pack it up and move it again, so we’re ready to deal.”