For love of animals and shopping

Shoppers at Red Deer and District’s SPCA Garage Sale liked their bargains, but for them visiting the annual sale was just as much about helping raise money for homeless animals.

Shoppers at Red Deer and District’s SPCA Garage Sale liked their bargains, but for them visiting the annual sale was just as much about helping raise money for homeless animals.

“We’re always look forward to the SPCA (sale) because there’s so much stuff in one spot and it’s good stuff most of the time. And it’s good to support the SPCA,” said Jill Bryar, of Red Deer, on Saturday morning.

She usually looks for furniture and Christmas decorations.

Norm and Darlene Doucet, of Red Deer, picked up a bird feeder when the three-day sale opened on Friday and were back on Saturday to take another look through the tidy 90-plus tables and piles of typical garage-sale fare — household items, exercise equipment, books and music, and nick-nacks.

The couple visits and donates to the sale every year.

“It’s something that (the SPCA) need,” Norm Doucet said about the public’s support of the sale.

Darlene Doucet said donating items is a good way to get rid of stuff you’re tired of looking at and it’s environmentally responsible.

It was Perri Lynne Bawtimheimer’s first year attending the sale. But for years she has donated what people leave behind at her storage facility.

“I wanted to see if our stuff was gone and put to good use. And I can’t find anything we donated,” said Bawtimheimer who brought in three vehicle-loads of items.

“I think the cause is perfect. I love the fact that it stays right here in Red Deer. It’s not Alberta-bound. It’s staying right here. And I support the SPCA.”

Shoppers were also impressed by the relocation of the sale to Red Deer’s newly renovated and expanded curling facility Pidherney Centre.

“This is an awesome space. It’s bigger. We have nice washrooms. We have a microphone to use and lots of lights,” said Brenda Spark, volunteer on the SPCA’s fundraising committee.

“We’re definitely going to think about coming back again. We hope this will be the spot.”

For many years the sale was held at the old A & B sound building on 53rd Avenue.

The SPCA was hoping to attract people from the Red Deer Public Market going on outside the curling rink but the market saw few shoppers because of Saturday’s rain.

Spark said luckily avid garage sale shoppers are never deterred by bad weather.

Last year the sale raised $42,000 through sales and raffles.

“We had about 200 to 300 waiting in line just to get in (Friday). We did about $28,000 the first day. That’s including tickets that we previously sold.”

By Saturday about half the items had been snatched up.

Spark said a lot of people have new golf clubs judging by the inventory of old clubs that ended up at the sale.

A lot of luggage and books were also donated, along with 200 chairs donated by the curling centre.

“There are actually people who save all their items to donate just for our sale. We’ve got a lot of devoted people who like to help the SPCA.”

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