Crowd turns out for annual sale

Finding the perfect stuffed animal was the mission of 7-year-old Nieko Gomez, left, and 8-year-old Cheyenne Labate during Saturday’s Crescenta Valley Sheriff Volunteer Annual Rummage Sale. Nieko was treasure hunting for all the tiny stuffed M&M toys and Cheyenne looked for horses.

By Celia Burstein

CV Weekly intern

As the gates of the CV Sheriff’s Station swung open at 7 a.m. last Saturday, Oct. 17, the large line that had accumulated scattered itself into the different corners of the station’s parking lot. The occasion was the ninth annual rummage sale benefiting the CV Sheriff’s volunteers.

While adults and teenagers rummaged through everything from books and office supplies to holiday items and picture frames, children found Utopia in a pile of stuffed animals.

Although the donation collection process began later this year due to the Station Fire, station volunteer Joanne Berg was impressed with the assemblage of items for sale. “My own feeling is that people were so grateful to the police and the fire departments that they were even more generous this year than they have been in years past,” Berg said.

According to Ginger Hunnicutt, station volunteer and original founder of this event, the money raised helps fund the station volunteer program and equipment for the sheriff’s station, including radios for detectives and a prospective commercial ice machine for search and rescue operations.

Anita Bauer, a donator and rummager, recognizes the volunteers’ impact on the Crescenta Valley community. “The sheriffs do the hard-core crime thing, but people – like a lady needs help crossing the street or someone seen walking through a parking lot trying to break into cars – these volunteer guys will come, and they help out,” Bauer said as she waited in the long check-out line. The funds are also used to supplement the Holiday Toy and Food Drive, a station project run by the volunteers which supports up to 200 families, according to Berg.

Hunnicutt believes that the turn out this year was as large – if not larger – than last year, up to 400 people, according to Deputy Jorge Valdivia. In total, the volunteers racked up more than $5,000, estimated Hunnicutt, the organization’s treasurer.

Also sold at the rummage sale were stuffed Teddy bears to help with the 999 for KIDS, a program aimed at helping victims of child abuse. These bears may be purchased year-round at the station’s front desk for $5.

Station volunteer Jerry Van Orden believes the economic difficulties contributed to the turnout. “People are hurting, losing jobs and everything’s getting expensive, and because of the recession, we can get things at very good prices here,” Van Orden said.

Berg, however, is ambivalent on attributing the large turn out to the difficult times. “We thought last year [the economy] would have a lot of impact,” Berg said. “We thought we’d have either an awful lot of people buying because of the economy or no one would buy because of the economy, and it was about average.”

Though to Norah Krantz, the economy was the last thing in mind as she described her favorite new stuffed animal: a kitten. “He’s really fluffy, and he has blue eyes, and I got it for my mom,” Krantz said.

The Crescenta Valley Sheriff Volunteer Annual Rummage sale had a variety of items for sale from bicycles to books. Hundreds of bargain hunters entered, shifted through and found the items that they could not live without during the sale.