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A community of treasures at Meredith town-wide yard sale

May 26, 2010
MEREDITH — Crowds of bargain lovers hunted for an assortment of treasures at not one, not two, but more than 70 yard sales set up in the Meredith area Saturday.

Residents and organizations took part in the Meredith Community Yard Sale sponsored by the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce. Those wishing to register signed up with the Chamber for a small fee. Maps were not released until the day of the sale.

"That kind of adds a little bit to the excitement for the whole thing," said Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sue Cerutti said.

Cerutti said over 70 individuals and organizations signed up to take part in the yard sale and this year saw the most number of participants in the sale's 15-year history.

"It builds every year," Cerutti said. "It was started initially to try to have an activity taking place the weekend before Memorial Day. I think in terms of the number of participants it was (successful) and in terms of the interest we saw. It was pretty obvious to us our publicity had paid off."

Yard sales were located throughout Meredith with a few also taking place in Center Harbor and Moultonboro. A map showed the locations of all individual sales.

The Altrusa Club of Meredith had its location right at Chamber headquarters, where people stopped to pick up the maps.

Laurie Brothers of Altrusa said the sale opened at 7:30 a.m. and by 2 p.m. three-quarters of their items were gone.

Items at Altrusa's table were donated by members, family, and friends. Funds raised will go toward Altrusa programs such as their scholarship and literacy programs and contribute toward disaster relief, food pantries, and others.

Altrusa member Hilda Schmidt said the yard sale is their second biggest fundraiser next to the Festival of Trees in December.

Nancy Dahood took part in the Community Yard Sale for the first time this year, setting up the sale at her Stevens Avenue home.

Unfortunately, Dahood said she received few visitors possibly due to the number of sales going on and the placement of her sale on the map.

"I think it's nice. I think probably this year was too many of them," Dahood said.

The Meredith Public Library had its own indoor "yard sale" with books. Books were laid out on tables in the downstairs hallway and meeting room, and donations were accepted as payment. The sale also offered memberships to Friends of the Library; a $15 membership included a tote bag for the new member to fill with all the books they wanted.

Danielle Scott, president of Friends of the Library, said most of the books were from community donations and few were recycled library books.

"We had a very strong crowd of people and we sold a lot of books," Scott said.

The Community Yard Sale is one of three book sales at the library.

"This is probably the best one," Scott said. "We get a lot of walk-in traffic."

Proceeds from the sale went to Friends of the Meredith Library, which supports library programs.

Books not sold in the book sale will go for sale online as part of the library's collection sold on AbeBooks. Volunteers work in the basement to clean and photograph books to be put on the website.

The Kiwanis Club held a large sale on Route 3 by Cumberland Farms, the first time the organization has taken part in the sale.

"It was one of our members just one morning at a meeting and said, "The Community Yard Sale's coming, we all have junk in our basements,'" said Kiwanis treasurer Bob Bertholette.

Items in the sale were donated by Kiwanis members and friends and family. Proceeds will go towards Kiwanis programs in the community, such as youth and elderly programs and others.

The large yard sale drew a sizeable crowd.

Rev. Mark Dolac and his foster son Rogue Dolac were among those looking over items at the Kiwanis Club sale, looking to replace property that had been stolen or broken during a break-in at their ministry.

The Dolacs help manage Abundant Life Ministries in Center Harbor, which offers a food pantry and other services for people regardless of their religion. Rogue Dolac said the ministry has a multicultural clientele.

The Dolacs said items were destroyed in the building and hate speech and swastikas were painted outside.

"A lot of people that are in need, we try to do our best to meet people's needs," Mark Dolac said.

Bertholette said Kiwanis will take part in the sale next year.

Pat Ludwick of Circle Drive was joined by her daughter Rebecca Campbell, who came from Troy with her daughters Virginia and Britney Pinker. Many items in the sale were tools owned by Ludwick's late husband, who was a carpenter.

"There's been quite a few people here, they are antique tools; they are 50 years or older," Campbell said.

Ludwick said there were few people at the sale overall.

"I think it's a good idea, but I think there's so many going on at once," Ludwick said.

Looking through and putting out the tools did bring back memories.

"We all go 'We can't sell that,'" Campbell said. "The grandkids do it: 'That was my grandpa's.'"

Varney Smith
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