The most venerable of Loudoun's community events, the annual rummage sale masterminded by the Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital, will open Friday, Oct. 14, for a two-day run at the Morven Park Equestrian Center north of Leesburg.
The event is one of the most anticipated by shoppers, both in the county and far off, known for the high quality and reasonable prices of the many articles for sale.
As volunteers gear up for the final two weeks of collection and preparation, led by Co-chairs Lisa Cromwell and Sue Clewes, more than five tractor trailers are filled and ready to be delivered to Morven Park where items will be sorted, priced and displayed. Those who still have items to donate may do so by calling 703-771-2985.
The cavernous horse barns at the equestrian facility, accessed via Tutt Lane off Rt. 15 north of Leesburg, provide the perfect browsing spaces for the thousands of items that have been collected throughout the year. From toys, clothing and shoes, to jewelry, accessories, yard and electrical equipment, tools, household items, books, movies and much, much more, the rummage sale truly has something for every taste and every wallet.
Hours are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., but for the intrepid bargain hunter there is the Early Bird Special, on Friday alone. For $5, shoppers can get in for one hour of relatively calm shopping to browse through the many items and nab a particular bargain before the doors open to the general public at 9 a.m. Proceeds from the Early Bird hour benefit the Polly Clemens Nursery Fund, in memory of the board member who collected pennies and loose change to give to the nursery so staff members could buy items such as rockers and bottle holders to warm milk. Money from the early bird shopping last year raised $5,000 for the nursery.
Tickets for the 8-9 a.m. preview sale must be purchased in advance and are available for ages 12 and up at the Twice is Nice thrift shop at 305 E. Market St. in Leesburg, the gift shop at the Lansdowne hospital campus and Black Shutter Antiques, located at 1 Loudoun St., SW, in Leesburg. General admission is free.
Also on Friday only, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., will be a silent auction featuring a number of interesting items. Among them are a set of golf clubs and golfing packages and a Remington typewriter dating to the 1930s or 1940s, complete with case and a manual. And a surprisingly large collection of long playing records-33s, 45s and even 78s-have been received, along with a set of antique canes, and a frail but interesting antique umbrella.
The annual sale is often called the county's largest treasure hunt, for good reason. If you're looking for bargains and good Christmas presents, this is the place to be. Not only that, your money will be going to help people having either to be hospitalized or receiving treatment in the hospital
Over the years, the Ladies Board has donated large sums of money from the rummage sale, as well as from its thrift shop, the hospital gift shop and the Lights of Love Remembrance program that help fund nursing scholarships, for hospital care and equipment purchases.
Last year's sale results were impressive, especially in a tough economy. "We took in $155,700," Cromwell said, resulting in a net of about $110,000. The gross was more than $20,000 over the 2009 revenue, surpassing even the most optimistic outcomes.
Overall last year, the Ladies Board provided $227,000 to the hospital covering a variety of equipment needs, the nursery, ambassador training for the Birthing Inn and nursing scholarships, the great bulk of it from the rummage sale.
The Ladies board also has decided to make its second million-dollar pledge to the hospital. The board is committed to raising $1 million over the next 10 years to support the expanded Cornwall campus during the "Cornwall Cares" campaign.
Saturday afternoon, it will be time to "tear it down," and leave the barns in their normally vacant state.
"We couldn't do it without our community partners," Cromwell said, noting members of seven Loudoun nonprofits put their manpower to the task: the Middleburg Humane Foundation, Blue Ridge Hospice, Door of Hope, Goodwill, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and LEND (Loudoun Endependence). When all is dismantled the nonprofits take away the unsold items. They re-bundle it, send some of it for overseas missions or redistribute it for sale in the community, Cromwell said. "They are a big focus; we couldn't do it without them."