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Washington County Museum of Fine Arts holds 12th annual Treasure Sale to help pay operating expenses

November 12, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Sheila Holm, left, and Belinda Walde look over a towel rack at the Singer Society Treasure Sale held at the Washington Co. Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

It takes a lot of money to keep a museum going.

Rebecca Massie Lane, director of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, said the electric bill alone is about $6,500 per month.

That's why on Saturday, museum officials held their 12th annual Treasure Sale, an event that raises money to help pay the museum's operating expenses.

"The main impact of the sale is that it's such a community event," Massie Lane said. "It creates a lot of excitement at the museum and stimulates collecting."

About 500 people packed the museum at City Park in Hagerstown and perused goods that included fine china, paintings, ceramics, furniture and holiday decorations.

The items that were up for sale were donated, Massie Lane said. The five-hour event typically raises between $17,000 and $25,000 each year.

She said museum officials research the wares to determine a fair price.

Museum volunteer Marilyn Black said she looks up the items online to get an idea of their value, then the museum charges about half that amount to "give people quality prices for their purchases." She said she went to R. Bruce Carson Jewelers to get help with one of those items, a Claret jug that was made in Germany.

Around 2:15 p.m., everything was marked at half price to close out the day.

Clear Spring resident Cindy Hockenbury said she spent $9.01 to purchase some vases and a few other items.

She said Saturday was her first visit to the Treasure Sale. She said she would return next year because there were so many good deals.

"I was on a roll. I loved it. I'm thrilled," Hockenbury said. "I was pleasantly surprised by the things they had."

Hockenbury's shopping companion, Halfway resident Patricia Fikar, said the pumpkin sculpture that she bought for $8 would make a nice holiday decoration.

"I was wonderfully surprised," she said. "I didn't know what to expect. It was a nice variety ... everybody can find a treasure in something."

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