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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 10 - 16, 2001


Community School sale draws thousands

Hundreds wait in line in the 
cold, early morning

Express Staff Writer

Things were fairly quiet at the barn at the Sage Willow Campus of the Community School at about 7:30 Saturday morning.

The only ones around were the volunteers and a few hard-core shoppers waiting in the cold for the opening of the Community School Garage Sale 2001. Sponsored by the Community School Parents’ Association, the huge event has become an autumn ritual for many in the valley and elsewhere.

Jodi Meunier, the sixth-grade teacher for the Community School, was one of the early morning volunteers, working the women’s boutique entrance with some of her pupils.

Meunier said things would get crazy as the opening time of 8:30 a.m. drew near.

She was right.

At 7:30 a.m., each of the four entrances into the horse barn had about 15 people waiting in line, shivering.

By 8:30 a.m., opening time, there were hundreds of people chomping at the bit—between 400 and 600 people. It must have been a sobering sight to the volunteers who opened the doors.

By 9 a.m., there was no parking left on campus, and people began to park off campus.

One of the early shoppers, Lori Williams of Ketchum, said she had been in line since 7:40 a.m. A five-year veteran of the garage sale, she said she was totally focused on shopping and was looking for children’s clothes, toys, gifts and "the unexpected."

Tamara Boyle, from Rigby, was up at 5 a.m. with her Pocatello friends Mary Jones and Laura Doty to be in line at 7:30 a.m. They had come up to the Wood River Valley on Friday and camped out so they could arrive early.

Jones, who has been coming to the sale for the last three years, said she had heard about it from a friend at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. She passed the word onto Boyle and Doty.

She said she was reluctant to tell others about the sale because that would be like "telling them where your favorite huckleberry spot is."

Norka and Edward Albarran were in line for their third year in a row at 7:45 a.m. with their sons Eddy and Eli. The boys were interested in toys, especially a Nintendo. Their parents were more interested in winter coats, ski coats and tools.

Caren Hosack of Jerome was roused from sleep by her friend from Twin Falls, Nadine Brown, at 5 a.m. to make it to the starting line by 8.

"She convinced me I had to go, and she got my backside up," Hosack said. "This is my first time and Nadine’s second."

It was Tom Bezdeka’s second time at the sale, but the seventh or eighth time for his wife, Carol. The Hailey couple had been in line since 7:55 a.m.

He said he was looking for computer items, small appliances and "who knows what. Anything that catches my eye."

Carol Bezdeka said she still remembers the $325 Saks Fifth Avenue coat she got one year for $15. This year she was looking for a Sonicare toothbrush.

Jamie Marks-Loyd of the Parents’ Association said about 3,000 people passed through the barn on Saturday and Sunday, about the same number as last year.

She said the association also made about the same amount of money as last year.

While Marks-Loyd would not say how much that was, the Mountain Express reported the association raised about $90,000 last year.

Community School public relations liaison Katie Raffetto said the money goes to the school fund and the teachers’ wish list, but this year, $10,000 also went to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the East Coast.

Raffetto said the $10,000 would be split between three benefits—the Widows’ and Children’s Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York City, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s Widows’ and Children’s Fund and the United Way September 11 Fund.

In addition to the $10,000 donation, proceeds from the fifth-, sixth- and 12th-graders’ food booths will also go to the New York benefits.

Items that were leftover from the sale will be donated to different groups, including the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, the Idaho Youth Ranch, Coats for Kids and the Women’s Resource Center.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.