Fabric, buttons and zippers among items at Fabric Fair

April 30, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Women pushing shopping carts sorted through long tables of sewing-related items Thursday morning at the Salvation Army's annual Fabric Fair.

For the 13th year, the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary set up for business in the former CVS Pharmacy building in Chambersburg's Southgate Mall.

Fifteen to 18 volunteers assisted consumers. One volunteer sitting at a card table provided express check-out for customers with 10 or fewer items.


"The first day is the biggest. We have more material to put out as it's bought," said Ruth Bard, co-chairman of the Fabric Fair with Nancy van Buskirk.

"We have enough to last for next weekend, too," Bard said. "We had a line of people outside at 7 a.m., and we didn't open 'til eight."

Sewing machines, drapery fabric, trims, fabric on bolts and as remnants, patterns, playpens full of knitting yarn, quilting supplies, embroidery floss, counted cross stitch supplies, unfinished items, zippers, pins, needles and picture frames were available for purchase.

"We work every Monday all year on this," Bard said. "We count every pin and every needle."

The Fabric Fair is the auxiliary's only fund-raiser "because it's so much work," she said.

All proceeds go to the Chambersburg chapter of the Salvation Army "for anything they need - the soup kitchen, the disaster unit, the computer system, a floor buffer," Bard said.

"We paid for half of their van. We make lots of money here, and it all stays local," she said.

All items sold are donated by businesses or individuals.

"People clean out Grandma's attic," Bard said. "Businesses give us material and gift certificates." Items purchased with the gift certificates are marked down before being put in the fair, she said.

"Nothing is full price."

People come to look for bargains from as far away as Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

"If you sew, you know that some material sells for $25 per yard," Bard said. "Our most expensive is $3."

Bard gestured to a long table about two-thirds covered with baby food jars of buttons.

"That table was piled full this morning," she said.

People who want to donate items to the Fabric Fair may do so all year by dropping them off at the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 54 Lincoln Way West. Donations should be marked "Fabric Fair."

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