By Teri Carnicelli
The church and grounds at St. Thomas the Apostle will be transformed for five days this month into a bargain shopper’s dream come true.
That’s because the church’s Our Lady of the Assumption Sodality is hosting its 65th-Annual Rummage Sale June 21-25, and that sale has come a long way in its 60-plus years. In the first year the sale was only a day and brought in about $300. Now it stretches over five days and can bring in upwards of $30,000. Some unique items that have been featured in the past include a Shetland pony, purebred puppies, and a car.
At St. Thomas, located at 2312 E. Campbell Ave., the Sodality has been in existence as long as the church, about 65 years. Members serve the church and the greater community in many ways, such as offering meals to the homeless and bringing cheer to nursing homes at Christmastime. But by far their biggest task each year is the Annual Rummage Sale, which is unlike any other rummage sale you have ever seen before.
The sale will fill the entire church hall as well as eight classrooms, plus the lawn outside where much of the larger pieces of furniture will be on display. The classrooms will be themed; for example, there is a Book & Game Room, two Housewares rooms, two Boutique rooms, a Jewelry room, and rooms for Seasonal Items & Toys as well as the “Better Clothing.”
It’s a daunting project that takes the 250 active Sodality members most of the year to organize and prepare for.
Most of the money raised by the sale goes right back into the community. The school and the parish priest receive cash donations, as do a variety of smaller charities vetted by a Sodality committee each year.
The Sodality also offers two scholarships each year to children who are members of the parish and who would like to attend a Catholic high school in the Valley. They don’t have to be attending St. Thomas school, but they do need to be members of the parish.
The sale opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, with a ticketed pre-sale with hot dogs, chips and drinks. Cost is $5 for adults, children admitted for free.
Then the regular sale begins, with hours of 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday; 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Thursday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday. There will be coffee and doughnuts during the mornings and a refreshment stand for purchases in the evening hours.