Winnetka church rings up another sale
10/4/12 Bob Erlanbaugh of Chicago (left) and Tom Battacca of Cleveland OH make the first of many runs to the car for their wives at the Christ Church will be hosting 88th annual rummage sale on Thursday in Winnetka. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2012 6:09AM
The line into Christ Church’s doors poured out onto the front steps of the church as many shoppers awaited entry while hundreds more were seeking deals inside and outside the historic building Thursday morning.
Christ Church’s rummage sale has always been a huge hit with the local and not-so-local community. The sale is in its 88th year of raising money for various charitable organizations throughout the Chicago area and has shown no signs of slowing down.
When rummage coordinator Charlotte McGee arrived before sunrise she had only one question for those already lined up, “Who was first and what time did you get here?”
“That man at the front of the line arrived at 4:15 a.m. and he drove here from Milwaukee,” McGee said. “His first stop was to our toy department. Some customers have been coming here for 40 years.”
The church sends out over 3,500 post cards to remind parishioners and fans of the sale’s date, but most rummage veterans need no reminder, it is always the first Thursday in October.
Senior Pastor Christopher Powell started at the church on April 1 and was on hand to help the nearly 300 volunteers who make the sale a success.
“It’s one of those instances where everybody gets blessed,” Powell said. “It starts with folks who donate and ends with the beneficiaries of the money we make. What comes to us are convertible treasures. We convert these into food, medicine, books, help and all sorts of things.”
Throughout the year staff and volunteers at the church collect, store, repair and clean the items in preparation for the one-day sale that takes place every fall. At the end of the day anything remaining will be donated to charity as nothing goes to waste.
“Every year we start from zero,” McGee said. “We’ll be here until 7 p.m. cleaning up. Tomorrow we’ll take the tents down and Saturday we can finally rest.”
The thousands of items for sale include clothes, toys, china, books, shoes, jewelry, pictures, bedding, crafts, linens and garden baskets. Items are priced to move, typically no more than 20-cents on the dollar. The church stores most of the items on site, but does rent storage lockers as needed for larger items such as furniture.
“This is what people shop for,” McGee said. “It’s really good stuff at really good prices and we give all the money away (minus a few overhead costs).”
Christ Church expects the sale to garner as much as $250,000, which will benefit over 50 Chicago-area charities. The 89th annual sale is scheduled for Oct. 3rd next year where thousands of treasures will again await eager shoppers. ~.