5th Annual Riverside Corvette Club Garage Sale for MS

April, 2005

We raised over $1,450 for Multiple Sclerosis!

Neither pounding rain, nor sleet, nor billowing tarps blowing before the gale force winds that were trying to turn the Watson home into the Santa Maria could daunt the brave members of the Riverside Corvette Club from carrying out their appointed duties and hosting the 5th Annual “Riverside Garage Sale for MS”!! 

Little did these poor souls know what lay ahead of them as they busied themselves on a sunny Friday organizing tables and display cases with priceless treasures donated by selfless humanitarians. 

For the past four years members and friends (see pic to the left) of the Riverside Corvette Club have been organizing a garage sale on the Easter Weekend to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Walk.  After a humble beginning and a take of $400.00 the Club has worked hard to cultivate their sources and suppliers and the sale has grown in size and reputation attracting returning regulars and many just interested in helping out a very good cause.  And, somewhere along the line, everybody involved clued in to just how much fun it was.  It seems the little Moroccan bazaar that sprouts up in Patti and Gary Watson’s driveway each year has rekindled the bartering instinct in all of us and when mixed in with Graham’s relentless stand up comedy routine and improv with unsuspecting shoppers, it creates a very eclectic and genuinely amusing time for all (even for the unsuspecting shoppers) although I suspect some just show up for Patti’s lunch spread and the free cookies!!

As usual the priceless treasures started showing up during the week and by Friday morning the Club members were busy organizing, pricing, discounting and applying everything they could remember from Marketing 101.  With the unique pricing (all goods are colour coded to a predetermined bargain basement price range) completed and can’t resist displays finished just so, the tables were carefully tucked away under bright blue tarps against the potential rain showers that had been forecasted, not that anybody was really worried though.  A quick Club meeting finished up the day and everyone went home for a good night’s sleep as the 7:00 am opening would come before many could get the visions of barely used 8 tracks, fine gas station crystal glassware, unique? ethnic fertility props and fine period pieces of irreplaceable furniture out of their fuzzy little brains.

Unfortunately it probably wasn’t the alarm clock that woke most members up on Saturday morning but the howling wind and pounding rain.  By 7:00 am Watson’s front yard/driveway (after all the entire front yard is concrete driveway) looked like a training exercise for the Tall Ships as tarps flapped and flew in the wind, ropes were tied off with the best memory of Boy Scout classes and patio set umbrellas propped up the tarps all in an effort to protect the precious product destined to be converted to a substantial MS donation. 

By 7:30 am shoppers were bobbing and weaving and ducking and scopeing out the bargains as the rain continued horizontal and Captain Dodsworth stood proud on the bridge and commanded the valiant effort to keep the HMCS Garage Sale fro m sinking into the Lulu Island mud!  Throughout the day and the rain the shoppers shopped, haggled and the Club members bargained and pleaded and begged and sold a lot of shi – er, I mean stuff.  By 11:00 am the “Free” pile was growing (how is it we can’t sell stuff for $1.00 and when we put “Free” with a donation to MS on it, the stuff flies out with a lot of coin being tossed our way) and the sale was slowing down. 

Time for Patti’s famous lunch and a break in the weather warmed and lifted the spirits, although they were never really dampened, and the final deals were done by early afternoon.  With the “Free” pile moved to the curbside the shopping amazingly continued with a fairly large sofa chair being pried into the back of an old Honda Civic hatchback – a steal for the $3.00 donation (we felt bad that we’d overcharged for the moving fee but what the heck….).  And, of course, paying some guy to $2.00 to take away Dan’s wall unit!

Now the fun part, over the remains of lunch and Patti’s “Whacky” Cake, we got to count the day’s take.  With all the bills out of the dryer and Michelle’s great little coin counter the total was quickly determined.  Although it fell a little short of last year’s record, and considering the torrential downpour through most of the day the final tally of $1,450.00 was a pretty damn good days work.  Well done everyone!!

You can be sure we’ll be at it next year with new and more inventive ways to market the unmarketable and change garbage previously owned items into gold!!  So remember, we start taking donations for the Sale of the Century on Good Friday with the sale to follow on Saturday.  Feel free to donate your best fundraising items or come shop for that eclectic piece that you’ve been searching everywhere for to complete your home or office.  Chances are you’ll find it at the Riverside Corvette Club Garage Sale for MS – cheap!