Volunteers are out in force for this year's Rotary Auction

Volunteers are gearing up for Bainbridge's largest community garage sale, the Rotary Auction, which takes place this weekend.

The event, held annually at Woodward Middle School, begins on Friday with a live and silent auction as well as a preview of items that are part of Saturday's enormous rummage sale.

"There is nothing like this anywhere else in the country," said Patti Shannon, the chair of this year's auction. "And most of the proceeds go right back into the community."

Last year the auction netted $274,080, which was used to support projects and organizations such as Islandwood, the Battle Point Park soccer fields and West Sound Wildlife Sanctuary.

Although the auction has been an island staple for almost a half century, there are some new things to look forward to, most notably a dedicated children's boutique complete with furniture, clothing and toys.

"It should be like walking into a nicely decorated children's store," Shannon said.

Organizers are also working under a tighter deadline, with only eight days to prepare for the auction instead of the usual 10- to 11-day period due to snow days that were added on to the end of the school year.

So far, over 1,0000 volunteers have been on hand to accept donations and convert the middle school into an expansive marketplace.

But there is still plenty of work to be done before this year's auction kicks off, and organizers are always in need of more goods and more volunteers.

"I like the quality of people that (the auction) attracts," said Paul Heys, who is volunteering for his third year. "I'm always pleased by the volunteer turnout, and the people that are generous to give away something of value and see those proceeds go back to the community."

The Rotary Auction

This Friday, the Merchant auction items and preview will be held from 4-7 p.m., followed by the live auction from 7-9 p.m.

The rummage sale takes place between 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 27.

During the event, traffic on Sportsman Club Road will be one-way heading south.

Two buses operated by Agate Pass Transit will run a circuit between the auction and four park-and-ride locations located at First Baptist Church, Ordway Elementary, Island Church and Bethany Lutheran.

For more information on volunteering or donating items please visit:

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