by Loyce Braun (June 2012)
Months in the making, our May 12th parking lot sale proved to be worth the effort! On the day of the sale, 41 different members – old, new and prospective – and their spouses and friends showed up to assist. During set-up from 6:00 to 8:30 a.m., 26 people unloaded a 24-foot truck stuffed to the gills with merchandise. This amazing group moved heavy boxes and furniture efficiently and without complaint so that we were able to unload and set up beautifully in 1½ hours what we had projected would take 2½ hours. In this group were 12 members of long standing, three members’ spouses, one member’s daughter, five new members, one prospective member and three housemen. Michael and Virgina from the theatre brought in two desperately needed extra tables.
During the first sales shift, six additional members, one member’s sister, one member’s gentleman friend and one more spouse came to add to many who stayed on from the first shift, giving us between 18 and 21 to oversee the sale, write receipts, take money, keep the sales tables organized and attractive and watch over the crowd.
For the second sales shift, nine members arrived to relieve some of the earlier volunteers. The crowd thinned out and we had plenty of help so that we could consolidate remaining goods and clear some of the tables to ready them for quick take-down and removal as the sale came to a close. At the end of the day, 11 volunteers and two house staff remained, supplemented by three new arrivals. One member’s son came to help and was allowed to go home for want of work to do!
By 3:30 shoppers were scarce and volunteers began to box up leftovers and take them to the truck. What had been a packed truck in the morning had one layer of boxes and a few pieces of furniture to be taken to the Salvation Army. By 4:45, the truck left the parking lot for the Salvation Army at Pico and Alvarado. Unfortunately, they had just had a big load delivered and did not have room for our donations! Fortunately, the Salvation Army collection center in Santa Monica was open and could take the donations. We lumbered off to Santa Monica and made it in time to have the leftovers off-loaded before the center closed.
Copious thanks go to the members of the Theatre Committee which has spent three months planning the sale, soliciting donations, sorting, pricing, advertising and bringing the goods stored on the third floor and in the theatre basement up to the truck the day before the sale. Our general manager, Phillip Miller made extra efforts to schedule housemen for us and Julia Soto squeezed in all our e-mail blasts and emergency calls for help.
Of the extraordinary group who rallied on sale day, the core of all-day, dawn to break-down volunteers deserve special recognition. They were the continuity team that kept the sale coherent.
As a result of all this outstanding effort, The Ebell Parking Lot Sale took in almost $9,000 which even after exenses (truck, security, advertising, supplies) will net us around $8,000. It is a hard way to make money, but we made it! The Theatre will have a new movie screen and possibly music stand lights as well. Well done, everyone!