‘Greatest Garage Sale’ sizzles

KILAUEA — By 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the first few people took up their posts outside Kilauea Mini Storage. By 7, the line was snaking around the end of the building. Soon, cars were driving up and down the streets, drivers looking for places to park.

When the doors finally opened at 8, it was a bit of bedlam.

Some of the men and women rushed inside the doors and up the stairs to a vast space filled with items that made up “The Greatest Garage Sale Ever.” Others turned to the outside tent, where furniture was neatly arranged.

It didn’t take long, minutes in some cases, for people to grab what they found to their liking.

There was a lot to like.

Flat screen TVs, fishing equipment, an inflatable kayak, antiques, and tables filled with clothes, books, and scores of miscellaneous stuff were all offered at low, low prices. Outside, chairs, desks, and cabinets were marked to sell — and they did.

The first hour saw people in a frenzy of buying at the ninth annual fundraiser put on by the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay.

A Ping driver went for $10. Aloha shirts for $2. DVDs were a $1. A giant margarita glass was $2. An eight-pound exercise ball was $3.

“I actually was just having coffee nearby and saw a line of cars and people walking this way, so just decided to check out it out,” said Marvin Ross, a visitor.

Ross said he didn’t want to fill a suitcase with things he could buy back home, but he did find some Kauai-specific T-shirts and two coffee mugs, one with a whale handle, he couldn’t resist, all for $6.

“Too good of a deal to pass up,” he said.

Rotarians wearing bright yellow shirts were everywhere, helping customers throughout the day, pricing their purchases, giving them tickets and sending them to the register. One was guiding a lost child around trying to find missing parents. Another found shoppers carrying too much stuff and helped them put things in bags.

“It’s a big party, the whole morning,” said Monica Oszust, organizer.

When the spending stopped at noon, all those good deals turned into about $11,000 for the Rotary Club — money it will use to benefit the community through its many community activities.

Club President John Oszust called the day “phenomenal.”

Not only did hundreds of people come out for it, but all the items were contributed as well. John Gillen donated the space at the mini storage for the garage sale.

It was late last year when the club started collecting contributions. More came in late last week when someone phoned and said they needed to move furniture out of their house by week’s end.

If the club wanted it, it was theirs for the Greatest Garage Sale Ever.

“So we went over there yesterday with seven trucks and moved all the furniture in a three-bedroom house into this tent,” Oszust said.

Most of it sold quickly Saturday. What wasn’t gone by 11 was marked to half price. By noon, it was free.

“It all put to good use,” Monica Oszust said.

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