THE GOOD, THE FAST AND THE THRIFTY: Shoppers look to score big with a fistful of dollars

Volunteer Andy Strom sorts through the collection of donated doors at the Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale.  - Henri Gendreau / Bainbridge Island Review
Volunteer Andy Strom sorts through the collection of donated doors at the Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale.
— image credit: Henri Gendreau / Bainbridge Island Review

It was a battle, a fight to the end filled with raging shopaholics, deal hunters, thrift seekers and those merely with a fervor to stand nose-to-nose against frugal foes.

It was the 53rd annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction and Rummage sale and it left a slew of good deals — and tired islanders — in its wake.

For Rotarians, the sale was a success.

“It went very smoothly this year,” said Marisa Lanning with the Bainbridge Island Rotary.

“The numbers look extremely good,” she said. “We still need to add up all the cash and checks, and this year we added a lot more credit card machines.”

Rotarians continue counting the sale’s proceeds, though it’s too soon to tell how much money was ultimately raised.

Lanning expects the numbers to be made official by Sunday, July 7.

The sun had barely crested over the horizon when islanders, and more, began lining up on Saturday, June 29 outside Woodward Middle School. Cars and trucks lined the sides of New Brooklyn Road and Sportsman Club Road in all directions as the entrances to the school swelled with hundreds, all mad with shopping fever.

By 8 a.m., as the final lines of the National Anthem were sung, nothing could keep them back any longer. The starting lines broke as a frenzy of rummagers raced onto the grounds. Some pushed their way through in a mad dash, while others calmly executed their plan of plan of attack.

There were a variety of tactics utilized. Some shoppers preferred entering with a considerable supply of empty shopping bags to fill. Others came prepared with jumbo shopping carts and hand trucks.

Smart families took on the sale as a team, sending swift-footed scouts ahead to occupy furniture and stake other claims.

The bicycle field was picked through within 10 minutes, leaving only a handful of bikes scattered across the dewy grass under the morning sun.

The camping gear fell quickly to an onslaught of outdoorsmen.

Inside the school building, bodies squeezed and raced through hallways to raid camera gear, musical instruments, books and more.

And sporty islanders scored a range of equipment from soccer balls to basketball hoops.

While the initial wave swept through the sale quickly, taking quite a few deals with it, the campaign continued throughout the day, sparing very little.

But the leftovers won’t go to waste.

“A lot of the items we did not sell went to charities and nonprofits,” Lanning said.

The Rotary auction raised $385,856 in 2012. The money went toward a variety of Rotary projects, including local programs and scholarships, local community grants, and international work. The money also went into a fund for major projects on Bainbridge.

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