Pilot Staff Writer

It was the granddaddy of all rummage sales, taking in $28,200, by far the largest amount in the 10 years of annual Curry County Home Health and Hospice rummage sales.

It was well over the $25,000 goal, and last year's record-breaking $19,000.

Event directors Lori Kent and Patti Slagle, their 26-member committee and 80-plus volunteers have been collecting and storing donations since April.

Hauling all of the merchandise out of the storage places - which include the old Litty building in Brookings, the Ophir School, and a number of private garages and outbuildings - took a team of 15 volunteers and their trucks three days. Setting up took the 80-member team another 10 days, and required a forklift from Gold Beach Lumber Yard Inc. to get the job done.

The sale started Friday and by Saturday morning more than half of the merchandise had been sold. However, the Showcase Building, Dosia Sweet Hall, and the outside area between the two buildings was still full of everything from furniture, electronics, plants, household items, books, clothing, jewelry, toys, home decorations and everything in between.

Volunteers explained that on Friday all of the space under the tables was stuffed, and furniture and appliances were stacked three high.

Each area was staffed by volunteers who knew the merchandise. Staffers were easily identified by their C2H3 (Curry County Home Health and Hospice) T-shirts And they were serious about giving good service. While photographing a committee member, he said, andquot;Make this fast, we've got some sales going on in electronics.andquot;

The book lady, Valerie Reisner, had books categorized and alphabetized like a major book store. Reisner said, andquot;I learned how to do this at the Gold Beach Book Store. I work there.andquot;

Slagle praised the creativity of people who helped and the expertise of the volunteers. andquot;Everybody has a talent and expertise to make things work,andquot; she said. She called them, andquot;The team that cares.andquot;

Kent said, andquot;They're phenomenal primo volunteers.andquot;

As she looked around Saturday morning, Kent said of the volunteers who were busily serving customers, andquot;They worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Look at them, they're still happy.andquot;

All volunteers were fed snacks and lunch every day they were on the job. Sally Schroeder, who was in charge of food, said restaurants and merchants in both Gold Beach and Brookings-Harbor were generous with food donations.

Saturday, workers were eating Chinese food supplied by Spada's. andquot;Yesterday we had pizza,andquot; Schroeder said. andquot;I solicited food from Brookings merchants, too: McDonald's, Ray's Food Place, Suzie Q's, Price and Pride and Delaney's Bakery - all I had time to get around to. They all wanted to help.andquot;

Volunteers were given an additional perk. Massage therapist Dick Osterman provided free massages all day Friday.

Sales continued all day Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

By Tuesday everything had been cleaned up, the fair grounds were empty and ready for the next activity, and the C2H3 volunteers were tired, but jubilant.

Committee members, Berty Barr, Mary and Dick Bateman, Deroy Beeney, Barbara Burns, Pat Clary, Kay Bullian, Cheryll Grear, Norma and Speed Lippert, Lois Lindquist, Linda Kurtz, Joyce Mathis, Earl Mohr, Ron Morrell, Kathy Passino, Lucille Pendergast, Dorthea Petersen, Valerie Reisner, Linda and Don Rider, Sally Schroeder, Louise Sabin, Jeanette Shuselt Brandon Slagle, Ruth Vanderburgh, and their team members can have a breather until spring when work starts on the 2005 rummage sale.

Kent said the money raised will help to keep hospice services available in Curry County, making it possible for older residents to stay in their own homes where they want to be.

For information about hospice, phone (541)469-0405, (541) 247-7084.