A Resident’s Perspective – My Experience of Panorama’s Annual Patio Sale

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2015

…FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!!  YEAAAH!!!  The tsunami of bodies, some with babies in buggies or grannies in wheel chairs, poured onto Panorama campus for our annual patio sale, the largest of its kind in western Washington.  Bargain hunters grasped colored maps matching banners of the areas that surely had the treasures they were seeking!!

The crowd of shoppers rush in as soon as the gate is open at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

The crowd of shoppers rush in as soon as the gate is open at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

Over 5,000 volunteer-hours by Panorama residents were spent Monday through Saturday the week of sale– clearing the resident parking lot, raising tents, setting up and laying recycled doors over saw-horses.  Hundreds of marked boxes were uncrated.  Other uncrated boxes were stored under the tables with more of what was displayed on the table above.   It was worth attending just to see the organization of tents and tables of donated merchandise!

Scarves for sale at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

Scarves for sale at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

So what generated the exciting gross of $51,172.47?  VOLUNTEERS and TONS OF ITEMS donated by residents last year.

Of the total 650 volunteers, 500 were Panorama residents, and 150 came from off campus from as far as Alaska.  Some have worked ten years, and many five, six, and seven years at the annual Patio Sale.  One hundred and eight residents donated time year ’round to collect, sort, clean, repair, price, wrap, pack and label about 1,700 boxes for this sale.   Many items are sold three times a week in our campus Barn and larger items, like furniture, in our Warehouse around the corner from Panorama.

In addition to the dedicated volunteers who headed, planned, organized, managed volunteers, advertised, and set up signs in sale area and around the campus to direct traffic-flow, we could work in clean up, purchasing, trafficking, greeting visitors, and cashiering – among many others.  All-volunteer staffed!

A ”few” items included: pencils to pillows, books to bookcases,  collectors’ items, fine china and collectables, small kitchen appliances, sets of dishes and utensils like my grandmother used years ago.

Tons of office supplies, electronics, and hardware and garden tools were sorted, and were easy for me to find.  Blankets, sheets, and pillow cases were folded and wrapped with ribbons and labels for size.  Hats and scarves!

Our Chambers Restaurant provided hearty sandwiches, chips, veggies, dip, cookies, lemonade and coffee for workers.

Others, like me, remarked how economical things were, not how expensive.  Before leaving, our family feasted on chili dogs, drinks, cookies and ice cream under the tent on tables with red-and-white-check cloths.   Sitting with other residents, we chuckled as each revealed a best find. One man’s trash is another man’s…you know how that goes!!

The book section at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

The book section at the 2015 Patio Sale. Photo courtesy of Charlie Keck.

My daughter’s favorites were the mattings for her water color art projects and a bag of books.  My choices?  Many crafts, including yarns, colored Sharpie pens, and large three-ring binders to hold my autobiography papers until published, and a set of sage Corelle plates with herb sketches.  I bought three loads of folding, wheeled baskets of stuff, and walked them home after each refill!  Eight year old, Hope, liked the toys, puzzles and trinkets she bought with her own money!

The roving resident reporter collected loads of positive evaluations.  Trucks hauled away unsold items to deliver to three local non-profit organizations.  Only Christmas things were kept to sell at our at our December Santa’s Shop.  At the end of the day, the parking lot was immaculate, and you’d never know the sale took place.

WHY the huge annual sale?   To support the Benevolent Fund which provides assistance to residents in need so they can continue living independently at Panorama.

SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday, July 16, 2016, is for the public.  Friday, July 15th is for residents.  Look me up!

Mary Jo Bio

 

 

 

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