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Thrift store 'looks more like a department store'

July 17, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - The reopening of the thrift store operated by The Salvation Army in Hagerstown caused excitement Monday morning among staff, officers and board members.

Others couldn't wait for it to be over.

Joe Dean leaned against a car in the parking lot. He was a customer who showed up as the store was supposed to be opening to find the ceremony in full swing.

"I use things from this store and I recycle other stuff from home," Dean said. "Eventually it all comes back."

Looking at the remodeled store, Dean said it is a lot more organized.

Sherry Wertz said she gets toys and clothes for her kids from the store.

"I also donate back to them," Wertz said.

Moving to Washington County six months ago, she and her husband had a lot of items that needed to be picked up and The Salvation Army took care of that for her.

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Wertz and Dean listened as Washington County Commissioner President John Barr complimented Maj. Robert Lyle and his wife, Maj. Karen Lyle, on the newly renovated store at 524 Frederick St.

"The Lyles have a real vision here," Barr said as the ribbon in front of the store was cut.

Chris Henry, chair of the advisory board, thanked the employees for all the hard work done at the store.

Robert Lyle said the thrift store is good for people in need and brings jobs to the 12 staff members who work there.

"If the thrift store is successful, so are our other programs like the 30-bed shelter and the soup kitchen that feeds about 100 people Monday through Friday," he said. "They depend on the thrift store's success."

Joyce Wolfe, store manager, said new carpet, new shelves, new racks for clothing and shoes were part of the renovations that took about two weeks. Kmart donated shelves, as did Gervais and Adama Magalou, owners of the ATSE Convenience Store on Frederick Street.

Closed for three days, the store was swamped with shoppers after the grand reopening Monday.

"It looks more like a department store now, rather than a thrift shop," Robert Lyle said.

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