Several hundred shoppers eager for a bargain flooded Saint Brendan Catholic Church Thursday morning, kicking off the annual yard sale and the church's major fundraiser of the year.
It was a busy first day, and vehicles filled nearly all parking spaces and surrounding roadways leading to the church. Festivities will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday at Saint Brendan.
Lines extended out the door when the sale opened, and those waiting to pay for their items stretched from one end of the building to the other. It was an excellent opening-day turnout, said project chairwoman Paula Staud, who was wearing a crown so she could be more easily spotted through the throngs of browsers.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Heather Goodwin Henline
Linda Mallow, of Elkins, and her grandson, Austin Mullenex, 9, brave the crowds Thursday morning on the opening day of the annual yard sale fundraiser at Saint Brendan Catholic Church.
Anyone with a question was directed to Staud, who affectionately has become known as the yard sale queen. Staud said much planning goes into the yard sale, and given the massive number of people who shop during the three-day extravaganza, it's easy to understand the number of volunteers it takes to orchestrate the event.
"More than 50 parishioners volunteered and helped to price, sort and lay out all this stuff," Staud said. "We work for a couple of months to put this together, and it's only accomplished through the faithful, hardworking members of our parish making it happen. We have great times of fellowship through the process and learn so much about one another."
She said the parish also is very generous with donations, and that results in a wide array of items at the sale. There's something for everyone, she said, noting items constantly are being restocked.
Additionally, all profit from the sale benefits some key groups within the church and the community. Among them are Catholic Charities, the local food pantry, and the church music program as well as the Holy Rosary Guild. Funds also will be used to aid children attending the Catholic Youth Conference.
Linda Mallow, of Elkins, and her grandson, Austin Mullenex, 9, were among the shoppers who came early for the yard sale's opening day. They worked their way through the massive crowd and made it to the seemingly never-ending table of knickknacks.
"It's interesting to see everything they have," Mallow said.
Shoppers, who were assisted by volunteers to help load heavy or large items, also were treated to homemade goodies while perusing the multiple display tables set up in a variety of rooms. Proceeds from the refreshments also benefit the charitable causes.
"We hope people come see us," Staud said. "Several hundred usually come during the course of the sale."