LAWA‘I — Stel Pimental says Lawa‘i Cannery garage sale is the best swap meet on the island.
More than 40 vendors on Sunday took up all the available space for the event which benefited the Kaua‘i Special Olympics, said Lorna Santos of the Lawa‘i Cannery Mini Storage.
“This one is sold out,” she said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a sale where all the spaces were sold. And the crowd is pretty good, too.”
Shelly Gerardo of the Kaua‘i Special Olympics said the vendor registration fees and funds generated by the Special Olympics booth, provided by Lawa‘i Cannery, goes directly to the Kaua‘i Special Olympics program.
One of the volunteers helping with the flow of traffic said having the Special Olympics as a beneficiary helps the sales as well because its members “really hustle,” one parent noting they had to be there by 6:30 a.m. to help shuttle vendors from the vendor parking area.
Customers were in no short supply, and came prepared to buy as one customer was seen hauling off a mattress set while many had to make special trips to borrow the Lawa‘i Cannery hauling wagons for their purchases.
“I’m really happy with this chair,” said David Nobriga, relishing his purchase of a wooden rocking chair. “The lady wanted more and when she said she was willing to bargain, I was happy. On top of that, we just moved into a new place with no furniture and I got one for my wife at another sale. Now, I have one for myself.”
Pimental, a regular vendor at the garage sale, said she gets her merchandise from family and friends who just want to clean house.
“I just ask my daughters, the kids, if they get stuff to clear,” Pimental said between customers. “The people are happy, the vendors are happy, this is just a great way to recycle, so everyone is happy.”
Lorna and Steve Freitas, parents of Kaua‘i Special Olympics coordinator Jocelyn Barriga, said they were reviving the Steve’s Mini Mart malasada recipe for the event.
“We’ve already gone through more than 50 dozen and still have two more tubs of batter,” Lorna said. “We only do this to help the Kaua‘i Special Olympics.”
Sharmaine Simao, another regular vendor, said people were lined up outside the gate for the 9 a.m. opening.
“This is such a worthwhile cause,” she said. “The other guys from King Auto Center are playing golf to help the Kaua‘i United Way. They asked if I wanted to go, but I told them I’m helping the Kaua‘i Special Olympics.”
She said people were getting bargains from almost all the vendors, and for the next sale, she’ll decorate for Halloween and Christmas.
“The next one will be in September so maybe we’ll do a Haunted House theme and have all kinds of Christmas stuff as well,” she said. “Last year, we had a giant spider in the middle and that was a hit.”
Santos said those interested in registering for September’s garage sale can call 332-5929 to reserve space.
Kaua‘i Special Olympics’ mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other special Olympic athletes and the community.
Call 652-8662 to enroll an athlete, or to volunteer for the program.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.