ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum’s annual fundraising garage sale has seen better days.
This year’s sale ran Friday, April 26, through Saturday, April 27, and on its second day, volunteers Sharon Krogen and Joann Gray estimated that it would wind up taking in roughly $2,000.
“The first day of the sale always does the best,” said Krogen, who estimated on Saturday that Friday saw the sale draw approximately $1,500 in proceeds. “That’s when everyone comes in to see what sorts of bargains we have.”
This year’s sale was coping with the obstacles of not only cool winds and dark skies, but also ongoing construction on 67th Avenue right outside the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Hall’s front entrance. However, the expected proceeds from this year still represent a decline from the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum’s garage sales of years past.
“We used to make as much as $10,000 from a few of those garage sales,” Gray said. “We had a lot of staff members outside, and three tiers of tables.”
“One of the biggest problems is that we need more manpower,” Krogen said. “We need people who can still lift heavy items. Our members are getting too old, and we’re losing a lot of our men to boot.”
J.Y. Dycus, a fellow volunteer for the Pioneer Museum, echoed Krogen and Gray’s concerns and recollections.
“We all got too old,” Dycus said. “There’s not a one of us who can lift anything heavy without doing some kind of damage to our backs. We used to take in donations as far as four months in advance of the garage sales, stockpile them in the museum, and make between $6,000 to $8,000 each year.”
“We used to have washers, dryers, mowers and plants,” Gray said. “Now, we simply can’t accept the heavier items because none of us can carry them.”
Krogen and Gray explained that the annual garage sale proceeds are necessary to cover just the most basic of expenses to keep the museum open and running.
“Our lighting and heating bills alone are huge,” Krogen said.
“A group of us comes in every Monday morning to do whatever maintenance needs to be done on the museum,” Gray said. “There’s always something to do.”
The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Hall is located at 20722 67th Ave. NE in Arlington. Its hours of operation are 1-4 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it’s closed on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, July 4 and every day in November, December, January and February. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 years and younger. Its next event is the decommissioning of unserviceable flags on Flag Day, June 14.
For more information, call 360-435-7289 or log onto www.stillymuseum.org.