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Coupeville Lions Club garage sale to attract hundreds of thrift-minded shoppers

Coupeville Lions Club volunteer Donna Brown refurbished several vintage sewing machines so they would be ready in time for the Coupeville Lions Club garage sale taking place this weekend at the Coupeville Elementary School.   - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville Lions Club volunteer Donna Brown refurbished several vintage sewing machines so they would be ready in time for the Coupeville Lions Club garage sale taking place this weekend at the Coupeville Elementary School.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

From vintage sewing machines to a virtual sea of linen, Coupeville’s annual homage to thrift shopping takes place this weekend.

The Coupeville Lions Club annual garage sale and fundraiser starts with a Friday afternoon preview with shopping beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday when the starting line drops. Shopping continues until 4 p.m. Sunday hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale is located at Coupeville Elementary School.

The weekend sale marks the 30th anniversary of the Coupeville Lions Club garage sale.

Lions Club volunteers have been busy sorting and organizing items for the garage sale. Organizer Dave Fish said it takes two weeks from the end of the school year to put together the sale.

Thrift-minded shoppers will have a plethora of merchandise to browse through the weekend. In addition to filling the school’s multipurpose room, the parking lot, covered play area and the walkways to classrooms are being crammed full of tools, furniture, sporting goods and household items.

There are a number of unique items Lions Club members collected throughout the year. Volunteer Donna Brown spent the days leading up to the garage sale refurbishing a number of vintage sewing machines that are either hand-cranked or pedal-powered. Fish noted a Silvertone phonograph and a number of gumball machines, while a volunteer mentioned there is a collection of antique Avon glass perfume bottles.

Fish said the Lions Club has collected a considerable amount of linen this year and it will be priced to move.

“Basically it’s going to be five bucks for as much as you can carry,” Fish said.

The weekend-long garage sale is a significant fundraiser for the Coupeville Lions Club. Last year, the sale collected nearly $50,000.

Fish said the money raised will help fund the Boys and Girls Club, Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, Lions Club sight and hearing programs and Camp Horizon for disabled people.

Coupeville Lions Club members collected loot for 12 months and stored items in barns scattered throughout Central Whidbey. Fish said it takes volunteers a lot of time and effort to move the merchandise, organize it and price it for the sale. The date of the sale is always determined by date of the last day of the school year.

By Sunday morning, the prices will be discounted even further to clear out remaining merchandise. When the sale ends at 1 p.m. Sunday, Lions Club members go about disposing of the left-over merchandise.

Some of the more appealing items will be donated to thrift stores on Whidbey Island and anything recyclable will be sorted out before the remainder is hauled to the dump, Fish said.

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