You don’t have to line up at 6 a.m. for the Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale, but event Chairman James Waldron says a lot of people do.
“The vendors start showing up about 5:30; probably 6 a.m. is when people start showing up for the line,” he said. “Yard sale is a morning thing.”
Waldron is a member of the Rotary Club of Columbia County, a chapter of a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world.
One of the ways Rotary members accomplish this goal is through community service projects, and those community service projects require funding. That’s why the club has a two fundraisers: one in the fall and one in the spring.
“We normally do a spring and a fall fundraiser,” Waldron explained. “We’re not sure what we’re doing for fall yet, so we’re currently looking for a new fundraiser. The yard sale is not a labor-intensive fundraiser and we raise a lot of money for charity.”
It’s no wonder they raise a lot of money for their community service projects from this, their fifth annual yard sale. What started relatively small, he said, has grown into an event that has a little bit of everything.
“The first year I think we had 90 booths, but it was a pretty easy morning and a lot of fun,” Waldron said. “We had a good time doing it, so we decided to do it every year. I think we have 152 booths, and we usually sell 20-30 in the last week or so. Most people wait for the weather report to see what it looks like.”
“What we do is we rent the entire fairgrounds and divide it up into yard-sale spaces and then we bring people to them (the vendors),” he continued. “So instead of everybody driving around everybody’s neighborhoods, they go to Columbia County fairgrounds. If you can’t find it there, we say you’re just not looking hard enough.”
A quick perusal of the event on Facebook confirms Waldron’s assessment. There, visitors will find vendors selling everything from cheesecake to steampunk jewelry to something even a little more specific.
“We have a vacuum cleaner company that shows up with a large truck and he opens up the back of the truck and sells vacuum cleaners off the back of the truck at a reasonable price. All day long we see vacuum cleaners going out the front gate,” Waldron laughed. “So you’ve got from that to bake sales to people who are just unloading their attic. We also have a lot of crafters.”
“We don’t say what you can sell; we just tell them what they can’t sell,” he continued. “We set up a Facebook event page and we let people advertise on it this year, so they promote it. There are people who sell specific things that, because of their license agreement, they can’t be where someone else is selling it, so we had to come up with a way of letting them say, ‘I’m here.’ Watching that page, we’ve seen a lot of people doing crafts coming.”
Crafts like custom pillows and blankets, personalized items, jewelry and representatives of companies like Jamberry Nails.
The Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale truly does have something for everyone. Not only that, it’s a convenient way to get some shopping done and help support local organizations through a parking donation and the vendor booth rentals.
“We don’t charge admission to go in,” Waldron explained. “We do ask for a $2 donation to park. The parking lot money is going to the Family Y, a local boy scout troop — we’re trying to help send several of them to summer camp — Youth Challenge Academy and North Harlem Elementary. We buy books for the school’s library all year long. They told of a need they have for books so we send probably 100 books a year to them.”
The booth rental money, Waldron said, will go to the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy and Rotary charities.
The Rotary Club of Columbia County is a service and leadership organization that meets each Wednesday at 7 a.m. at the Brandon Wilde clubhouse. For more information on joining, visit columbiacountyrotary.org.
Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale
Columbia County Fairgrounds
Saturday, May 16
Search Facebook by the event name or visit columbiacountyrotary.org