Stuff piling up for Rotary Auction

"The computer room was already lined with machines, from the slightly out-of-date 486 IBMs and Mac Power PCs, to a Texas Instruments museum piece.The generational difference - in technology, and its comprehension - was not lost on Rotary Auction volunteer George Scott.There were two 12-year-old kids in here putting computers together, just flying through 'em, said Scott, a retiree visiting from Boston, who was putting in hours at the auction setup with his Rotarian hosts. Unbelievable, he said. I still don't know what I'm doing.The auction, which annually draws thousands, runs 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 30 at Woodward Middle School.I never made it to Pamplona (Spain) for the running of the bulls, said volunteer Mary Ann Campbell, at work in the housewares area. But I don't think it could compare to the running of the shoppers. When they open those gates...their eyes are red, they're 'out of my way!'Last year's event brought in $181,000 for community projects; as the volume of donated items seems to keep growing, so too may the haul. And the fare is as esoteric as ever. Monday afternoon, a dozen Nordic Traks were lined up in a row in the sea of sporting goods; inside, 15 garbage bags sat full of stuffed animals waiting to be arrayed around the children's area.(There are) enough potty seats to train half of Bainbridge Island, volunteer Pat Egaas said. Or maybe that means they're already trained.Bargain hunters may want to show up for preview night, 6-8 p.m. June 29, to get the lay of the land. Things to know:WHERE AM I? - The biggest change this year is the layout. All outdoor sales have been moved to the larger south parking area; look for the crowd, and go there. Fine furniture sales can be found inside an almost circus-like tent in that area, flanked by lesser furniture, garden implements, tools and equipment, and vehicles.Inside, all children's items have been consolidated at the south end of the gymnasium, with books occupying the north end and lamps sandwiched in between. Those changes displaced housewares, which now occupy classrooms on the west wing. PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - Through early Monday afternoon, a record 14 cars and trucks had been donated. Among the more notable offerings: a 1983 Chevy Celebrity (low miles); a 1979 Mercedes 240D (high miles); a 1988 Volvo 240 GL (well detailed); a 1984 Chevy Eurosport (formerly owned by the Medina Police Department); a 1978 Ford van (road trip special); and a 1984 VW Jetta GL (previous owners said to be good stewards of the vehicle).Among the three power boats donated so far is a 1975 Bayliner, a 26-footer in good running condition but with cabin restoration needed. No planes or trains so far (although several of the model variety were spotted), but at this rate, one wonders.DUMP AWAY FROM DUMP - Drop-offs will be taken through 5 p.m. Thursday. And those who procrastinate may find themselves in an endless queue, or turned away when the gate is shut.Once again manning the gate like the St. Peter of recycling is Rotarian Dave Corn, who saw nearly 900 vehicles cycle through with donations over the weekend. Those numbers suggest that Thursday could top last year's record of 757 donor vehicle trips in a single day.Last year, it was bumper-to-bumper all day, Corn said. I've never seen anything like it.The organization continues its more-stringent standards for weeding out junk items. Things that aren't likely to sell - or that are bound straight for the dumpster - will be accepted for a donation of $5-$25.That policy is usually well received, although Saturday, a would-be donor turned away with a load of tires - Firestones, anyone? - cursed Corn all the way out of the parking lot.He knew more about my ancestry than I did, Corn said. "

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