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Kiwanis Club Won't Sell Any Used Mattresses ~ But Everything Else

Kiwanis Club Won't Sell Any Used Mattresses ~ But Everything Else image
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But Everything Else:

Kiwanis Club Won’t Sell Any Used Mattresses

By Dick Emmons

One of the few things you won’t be able to buy at next week-end's 25th annual Kiwanis Club rummage sale is a used mattress.

The Kiwanians—right now in the throes of readying their silver anniversary sale — can’t sell used mattresses because a state sanitation law forbids it.

But name almost anything else, and they'll have it.

Example: A farmer, approached for a donation to the annual selling-bee, said the only thing he could think of was a load of manure. Swell, said Kiwanis. A week later, they found a buyer who wants it for his garden and the sale has been made.

Will Help Children

Proceeds from that exchange— as all others in the next Thursday -Friday sale—will go directly into the Kiwanis Club's fund to help crippled and needy Washtenaw county children.

Last year, these proceeds grossed $6,700—in pleasing contrast to a gross of $1,400 reaped from the first sale, held in 1927 in the old Wadham Building on the site of the First National Bank Building.

Within certain limits, the Kiwanians just don’t care what they sell. If they could get hold of "the thing,"’ they'd peddle it, is the attitude of Mac Watterworth, sale chairman, and his staff.

They've sold just about everything you can name—from puppies to pianos. Someplace in between were such items as bottle warmers, baby chicks, used furnaces, and baby carriages, to name a handful. Last year, 50,000 individual items were sold.

Sold 11 Vests

The club once sold a woman 11 men's vests. She said she knew four farm boys who habitually, complained they didn’t have a place to keep pencils.

On several occasions, club members have made the mistake of hanging up their overcoats and suitcoats while they worked. Later they found that the garments had been sold right off the walls.

In general, though, the club tries to confine clothing sales to items turned in by local residents. To determine suit and coat sizes, four or five Kiwanians of varying height and weight get together and try on used clothing.

By applying their own sizes to the used garments, they come pretty close to tagging the sale clothes accurately. Meanwhile, someone else is measuring pant-legs and waistbands. Many of the garments are dry-cleaned and pressed by courtesy of a member who operates a cleaning business..

Inspect Dresses

At the same time, the Kiwanis "Queens," as club members' wives are nobly dubbed, inspect each dress donated and estimate its size.

The club started work on its huge money-making project some three months ago and is already deep in the business of making pick-ups from local homes. A year ago, the club made 1,400 calls for donated items.

In some cases, entire attics and basements were cleaned out at the request of the home owner. This collection of used merchandise follows the mailing of about 2,500 appeal postcards and followup phone calls.

Saturday morning, the heavy work starts. Several Kiwanis crews will set up counters, shelves and display cases; and immediately afterward, new crews will .come into the Armory to sort the thousands of articles into sale divisions.

Many Contribute

Just about everything in the Armory is given for the single purpose of helping children throughout the coming year. Almost every type of business in the cily conlributes in one way or another. This includes all the items at the baked goods and lunch counters, as well as the county's 4-H Club's preserved foods booth.

Next week-end’s sale will represent the combined work of about three months by the club's 115 members and their wives and teen-aged children.

Watterworth has been particularly assisted by Herbert Welhener as co-chairman, and Mrs. Murray Wanty, chairman of the "Queens."

What do they want for their sale? Watterworth framed a slogan this year to say it neatly: "We; want what you don't want for someone in want!”

Call 5550—or tell a Kiwanian.