Shoppers flock to Beth Hillel rummage sale deals

Out with the old, in with the new meant repurposing at 3220 Big Tree Lane in Wilmette for the July 27-28 Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah summer rummage sale.

And yes, for those who like to plan ahead, pencil in winter’s sale typically at the end of January.

What was new this summer was a jackpot slot machine, something never sold here before. And yes, there were a couple of wedding dresses that might have a bride saying yes to that affordable dress plus veil.

“Here I am again,” said Adrienne Schaye, of Wilmette, who organizes the sale with the assistance of about 50 volunteers from the congregation’s Sisterhood organization.

“I don’t know how I do it year after year, twice a year. It’s getting harder as I get older,” Schaye said. “But, I feel like if I don’t do it, I don’t know who’s going to do it, and put in all of the hours that I do. So I keep doing it, and it’s a good feeling.”

The Beth Hillel rummage sale, which included the website www.NorthShoreChicagoRummage.org, drew earlybirds who arrived three hours before the 9 a.m. Sunday start.

Wilmette Police estimated 175 people were in the first wave of the line, which took six minutes to usher in.

The first person, from Chicago, said he arrived at 6 a.m. Casilda Francis, of Evanston was the second person, arriving at 6:45 a.m.

Francis kept her place in line by staying out of full sun thanks to a shady flowerpot near the congregation’s east entrance.

“My girlfriend Lynette, she’s looking for linens and stuff,” said Francis, matter-of-factly.

“I’ve been coming to rummage sales for the past 35 years to save money,” Francis said. “I just buy stuff.”

“We’ve got lots of silver, a lot of artwork this time, a lot of clothes, a lot of furniture, we’re packed in there, I hope we have room for the people,” Schaye said with a smile.

The first section shoppers saw featured books. Allan Rodin, of Northfield, was in his volunteer element collating the book bins about a half hour before Sunday opening.

“The interesting titles?” said Rodin, who talked while he worked. “We’ve got a lot of Jewish history books, a lot of books on the various interpretations of the Bible, books on the Holocaust.

“Clearly, our hope is that people will take some of these books to expand their knowledge.”

Bruce Hershman, of Glenview, and BHCBE executive director, complimented the volunteers.

“This mayhem?” he said, with a laugh, standing outside of Spak Auditorium. “The Sisterhood does it, it’s well organized and they do a great job.”

Ida Ioffe, of Wilmette, enjoys volunteering in the jewelry section.

“I love it,” Ioffe said. “It’s interesting, it’s fun and you can find stuff at reasonable prices.”

When the doors opened, Carol Gopman of the Sisterhood was there to document as usual, taking photos for BHCBE publication.

“I’ve been working rummage for over 35 years,” Gopman said, grateful for the Sisterhood.

Of the fundraising goal which assists BHCBE programming, Schaye was hopeful.

“If we could break our record of $14,000, that would be great,” Schaye said. “It’s smaller than the big churches (dollar intake) but good for us.”

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