by Madison Fisler Lewis
Sept. 12, 2014. Since 1984, Boone United Methodist Church has hosted what many have come to call the unofficial kickoff event for the autumn season. The event started out 30 years ago as a fundraiser and turkey dinner to help raise money to buy furniture for the church. But what started as a small local fundraiser has grown into what is now one of the largest yard sales and recycling events in the High Country.
With more than three decades behind it, the Bazaar is one of the most highly anticipated sales in the area. These days, thousands of patrons attend each year in search of hidden treasures and bargains. The Bazaar takes place at 471 New Market Blvd behind the New Market Shopping Center in Boone. The hours for the sale are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, and 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Items for sale at the bazaar include furniture, electronics, sports equipment, clothing, crafts, holiday items, jams and jellies, baked goods, books and movies and much more, all at the best prices around and for a great cause.
“All of the money raised goes to support several agencies,” said Rosie Bentley, chairman of the event.
“We give financial support to organizations like WeCan, the Hebron Colony and many other agencies. We call agencies and ask them what they need and pull items for them, and then at the end of the sale we give the Hebron Colony all of the items that didn’t sell. The Hebron Colony helps us set up and break down the event, so really it just keeps going and going. It doesn’t all end when the bazaar is over.”
It all starts early in the summer, when two trailers are placed behind the church to collect donations from church members.
“Members just start bringing in donations,” Bentley said. “Right now we have two tractor trailers completely filled with donations. The community supports us by giving items and gift certificates for the silent auction. Part of the money goes toward reducing the debt on the building, but really it isn’t about the money, it is all about helping the community. It is such a big event for the church, we have over 300 volunteers that will work through the week to help set it up. It is about helping the community and about all of the friendships that are made while working through this.”
On Saturday, a special event called the “Bag Sale” will be held, where attendees can stuff a bag full of items for a flat fee.
“This allows families who are in need of items to come and get them and they can clothe their whole family with a bag!” said Bentley.
The bag sale runs on Saturday only starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 11 a.m.
Aside from the sale, there will also be a benefit lunch for Jay Erwin, who was paralyzed in an accident last year.
“Jay’s friend started a fundraiser this summer when Jay did not receive a free handicapped accessible van,” Bentley said. “The lunch on Friday will help fund getting him a van. The two restaurants, The Best Cellar and Roots donated the food for that.”
Bentley says that this sale is very popular with people from both on and off the mountain, and for good reason.
“You can get a lot of items for a very small amount of money,” she said. “It has become a tradition for a lot of people from out of town to come too. We have people that have come to this event for 20 years. We really consider it like a family reunion. It is all about being there for the community.
For more information about this event, call 828-264-6090 or visit www.BooneUMC.org.
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