Margo Pfeiff, Knowlton Lions Club
It’s a sure sign spring has arrived when everything from chopsticks to bathtubs are evicted from Townshippers’ attics, closets and sheds to gather for a single Saturday – May 27 this year – at the Lions Club garage sale. The first fundraiser was in 2004 when a shipping container and carriage house were soon overflowing with donations and Glen “Big Bird” Brown was made guardian of the goodies which included a jungle gym, wood burning stove, and a 16-foot sailboat. Held outdoors in Lions Park, the $9,000 raised was gifted to the Knowlton Community Centre fundraising project.
Since then the annual event has moved to several Knowlton locations and in 2022 – after a 2-year pandemic shutdown – returned at the Brome Fair hall.
“After having worked through hail, freezing and tropical temperatures, and a river literally running through the outdoor tent, we are finally indoors,” says longtime Lion Nicole Frechette.
The garage sale is a carnival of community spirit that includes Errol Frechette crooning along with Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson as he mans the electronics section. An antique horse sled showed up one year and a heavy vintage organ that, like that sailboat, was re-donated every few years. “At times it felt like the Lions Club was in the rental business,” says Lions Club secretary Meredith MacKeen. One year, the day before the sale, a framed watercolour painting was anxiously reclaimed by its owner when he learned his wife had donated it without his permission.
At 2 p.m., when it’s all over, an average of $10,000 fills the coffers of the Lions Club to continue its good community deeds.
The Lions Club garage sale takes place Saturday, May 27 at the Brome Fairgrounds, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Donations are accepted onsite Wednesday May 24, 2 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, May 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.