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Shoppers find treasure galore at annual fundraiser

November 13, 2005|By TAMELA BAKER

HAGERSTOWN - Some things old, some things new, some things artsy, some things blue.

On any given day, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts serves as a backdrop to works created by artists past and present, famous and not so famous.

But on Saturday, three of the museum's rooms were filled with new and used items for sale to the general public. And when the museum's Singer Society clears its closets for its annual Treasure Sale, everybody gets a bargain. Donors get a tax credit, buyers get a deal and the museum gets a financial boost for its operating expenses.

A steady stream of shoppers flowed into the museum for the sale. They perused displays of furniture, dinnerware, crystal, jewelry and, of course, artwork. There were toys, candles, gift certificates from various businesses, even a series of Burma Shave signs. "What are you going to use that for?" one shopper asked a companion who was eyeing a small piece of pottery. "I don't know what I'm gonna do with it," she replied. "But it's kinda cute. And it's only $1." The yearly event not only raises $10,000 to $15,000 for the museum, but also exposes people to the museum itself. "The most satisfying thing is seeing the number of people who come through the doors," said Judy Waters, the event chairwoman.

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Although some shoppers take time to visit the museum's exhibits as well as the sale, Waters said others are so loaded down with their purchases that they immediately take them to their cars.

Shoppers are greeted with tables filled with attractive displays. But what they don't see is the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the one-day sale.

"I start in May" to prepare for the sale, Waters said. "We collect stuff all year long.

"We really gear up in June and we start pricing in October. We really love it. Everybody really gets into it." As for the number of people the sale draws, Waters won't speculate. "We don't even try to count," she said.

To donate items for next year's sale or to get more information on the Singer Society, the museum's volunteer group, call the museum at 301-739-5727.

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