Gish school ready with tot sale
Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 06:00 am
Maybe it’s that St. Albert has such a large population of young families, looking for gently-used baby gear and clothes at great prices. Maybe it’s a long winter without a garage sale, and residents are hungry for a bargain. Whatever the case, the Gish Baby and Tot Items Sale, at 10 years on, is more popular than ever, drawing up to 500 eager shoppers to the Akinsdale event, set to go again this Saturday, April 12.
How popular is the Gish sale? We’re talking line-ups outside Gish school an hour before doors open on the Saturday morning of the sale, and Facebook and Twitter followers from throughout St. Albert and even into Sturgeon County and Sherwood Park, who watch for ads with that familiar baby photo to signal the coming of the event.
“Parents and grandparents want to get a good deal, especially on cribs, change tables and high chairs – it has become a major fundraiser for the school and a wonderful community event too,” said Ramonde Maxfield, a long time organizer of the twice annual sale. Indeed, while vendors fill the gym at Elmer S. Gish School with some 30 tables of toys, clothes and supplies for babies and tots from birth to age 6, the event also provides tables for the school’s Grade 9 grad bake sale, and another for collected donations that others don’t want to sell.
The sale raises about $3,000 a year for the Gish Parents’ Association, which in turn provides the school with whatever is needed, from library books and items for the computer lab, to playground additions.
“Vendors and shoppers like that it’s just one morning, from 9 until noon, so they can still have the rest of their day free,” Maxfield added. “We never thought it would last this long, but it has become more than a fundraiser – the school’s junior high students volunteer to set up tables and price items, and we give back by donating to local charities. It’s enlightening to see how things go around, and give back again.”
After the sale, leftover goods go to mostly local charities, including the St. Albert Family Resource Centre, and Basically Babies. The event also serves as a drop-off site for formula and diapers, which are then forwarded to the St. Albert Food Bank.
Sponsors have come onboard over the years too, including The UPS Store (poster printing), Piano Time Music (website expertise), and Save On Foods, which supplies free coffee to shoppers and vendors and snacks for volunteers.
“It’s such a well-organized event, and we’re lucky sponsors have stepped up to help,” said one of the sale’s founders, Sherri Koziol. “What started a decade ago at about the same time as the school’s Cogito and Logos programs has become a fine-tuned machine – a project with a life of its own. My favourite part is how the giving continues with the donations to charity after the event.”
Adult admission to the Gish Baby and Tot Items Sale is $2. The next event runs from 9 to noon at Gish School, 75 Akins Drive.