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Church's Turnover Shop turning into history

May 28, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

by Kevin G. Gilbert / staff photographer

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Turnover ShopChurch's Turnover Shop turning into history

When St. John's Episcopal Church opened The Turnover Shop in 1952, it was the only consignment store of its kind in Hagerstown.

Now as the 46-year-old landmark prepares to close, church volunteers are sad but confident that the community's needs for good secondhand clothing will continue to be met.

"We have been a household name to many local people over the years," said Phyllis Sturtz, the full-time manager.

Since its inception, The Turnover Shop has only had three managers, all of whom were volunteers like Sturtz.

Sturtz said the shop, which began on Wayside Avenue, was started by the church service league. Last year, the shop moved to 146 Fairground Ave.

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After 16 years as manager, Sturtz told the church earlier this year that she was going to give up the position. That, coupled with the difficulty getting volunteers and fighting competition, led to the decision to close the shop.

The shop closes in June.

The hours continue to be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Whatever is left over will go to Birthright, The Salvation Army and any family in the area in need, Sturtz said. For more information on final disposition of those items, call 301-739-4331.

Over the years, The Turnover Shop has not only been a source of quality used clothing for the community at large, but has also been generous to several nonprofit groups.

In addition to Birthright and the Salvation Army, clothing has gone to the Seventh-day Adventist Church welfare center, The Turning Point, the Union Rescue Mission and Goodwill.

"It's with a real sorrow and profound sense of loss that this ministry is ending," Sturtz said.

Also missed will be the income the shop has produced for the church. During Sturtz's 16-year tenure, the shop has brought in $218,000 for St. John's.

All that money has gone back into the church and its many outreach projects. Remodeling of the interior of the church and its offices, computers, day-school scholarships and renovation of the church organ were also achieved with proceeds from the shop, Sturtz said.

In addition to church members, high school students have volunteered their time at the shop. RSVP seniors from the Commission on Aging and other community volunteers have worked in the shop from time to time, Sturtz said.

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