50 years of thriftiness

The Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store celebrates its 50th birthday this Thursday, Oct. 16.

The Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store turns 50 on Thursday. They are celebrating with a half-price sale

It’s 2:30 p.m. midweek and the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society (RHAS) thrift store is open. There are nearly two dozen people perusing the merchandise. One of Revelstoke’s busiest stores, this Thursday, Oct. 16, marks its 50th year in business.

Opened on Oct. 16, 1964, by the Junior Auxiliary, (one of three hospital auxiliary groups that have been created since the auxiliary’s 1901 inception), the store’s main purpose was to focus on raising funds to provide both equipment and comfort for those utilizing Queen Victoria Hospital. Today it serves as the RHAS’ largest non stop fundraiser.

The thrift store has enjoyed several different locations around town before moving into a permanent structure that met its needs. On July 1, 2000, the thrift store’s current location on Second Street opened for business. Within two short years the mortgage was paid off.

Volunteers have proven to be the life-blood of the thrift store.

“The Revelstoke Auxiliary Society thrift store is a great place to volunteer,” Lenora White says. “It’s lots of fun. Half price days are the best.”

“It’s the busiest place in town on those days,” fellow volunteer Peter Zmaeff explains. “People are lined at the door.”

White, a volunteer of three years and Zmaeff, a volunteer of two years, were manning the till on one such half price day. A huge variety of people browsed the thrift store. Young, elderly, expectant mothers, and parents with their children all found items at the store. The store is packed with household goods, clothing, costumes, craft supplies, dress up jewelry, ice and hockey skates, helmets, goggles, skis and boots.

“Our customers are people from all walks of life,” explains White.

The thrift store not only supplies Revelstoke locals with affordable items but also brings in revenue that is distributed throughout the community by the RHAS in the form of monetary donations, program funding, and purchases to several community groups.

“The hospital auxiliary has supported the purchases of new equipment at the hospital,” Zmaeff says. “And supports other community groups such as the fire rescue and food bank.”

Vivian Mitchell wholeheartedly agrees on the RHAS generous mandate. “I go through my clothing every spring and fall and things I haven’t used in a couple years, I bring down,” she says. “It’s my contribution because the hospital auxiliary truly does keep everything they make in the community to benefit the community. Every year not for profit organizations can apply for funding.”

Mitchell would know. She is the president of the Revelstoke’s Options for Sexual Health (OPT) clinic, and OPT projects have been funded, in part, by those grants.

The store’s success and ability to do good in the community is documented by its sales figures. In October of 2013 the store made $27,167.53.

The Auxiliary thrift store does run into some issues, mostly people dropping off items not fit to be sold within the store. “We throw out broken things, mattresses. People drop them off at night, leaning them up on the “no mattresses” sign,” explains Randy Gribble, a volunteer who sorts donations six days a week.

Unfortunately, it costs the RHAS money to dispose of such items.  “Most of it’s good stuff though,” Gribble explains. “And we try not to put anything to waste.”

The RHAS thrift stores success and longevity is clearly down to the commitment of the volunteers and the generosity of those who donate their items. In recognition of this, Sheila Combs, the thrift stores manager, encourages people to come and celebrate with tea, coffee, cupcakes and a half price sale on October 16th.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke Community Choir presents Candy Canes & Carols

The Revelstoke Community Choir presented their annual Christmas performance on Sunday and… Continue reading

Funding available for caribou habitat restoration

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting grant applications

Sagmoen back in Vernon court this week

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

Crash temporarily closes Trans Canada Highway near Sicmaous

DriveBC reported the accident at 3 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Man pulls out gun at Keremeos gas station

RCMP arrested an Olalla man around 10 a.m. Sunday after he pulled a gun earlier that morning.

Protesters take to Highway 1 over migration issues

Five people protested Canada’s plans to sign the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Most Read