The Centre opened for the 2017 season on April 15 and staff and volunteers have been on site for several weeks now taking in saleable items that people are getting rid of. This is in support of the Centre’s annual Spring Mega Garage and Plant Sale on May 27, 28, and June 3.
“The community has been very generous over the years in their support of the sale,” says Mel Maglio, who has overseen the Garage Sales with his wife, Judy, since their early days. “They started out in 1998 when a group of the founding members of the Allan Brooks Nature Centre held a spring sale in the parking lot of the Vernon Curling Rink. It raised about $2,000 at the time and has since grown exponentially.”
The Centre now has two sales a year – one in spring and one in fall – that attract visitors from as far away as Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and Alberta. That’s good news for the Centre because these events have become its biggest fundraisers. “Funds raised from the sale help with schools programs, interpretative displays and the day to day operations of the Centre,” Maglio explains.
Although Mel and Judy have been the driving forces behind the Garage Sales for many years, they’re reluctant to accept praise for their efforts unless it’s given in equal measure to the many others who help too.
“The sales are highly successful because of the many dedicated and hard-working volunteers that help each year to promote them, set them up, and pick up and sort the large volume of donated items including, for the Spring Sale, perennial plants,” says Maglio. “As well, we’re given the use of storage units, tables, tents, trucks and donations of quality items and bedding plants by local companies and individuals.”
Volunteers like the Maglios play a vital role in making not only the Garage Sales happen but also other Nature Centre events throughout the season. Volunteers can help with birthday parties, kids’ camps, school visits, festivals, and ongoing landscaping at the Centre, as well as the Raptor Program, which returns this year after sell-out success last year.
“Whether you can help for a few hours or longer, every person who volunteers makes a valued contribution to the Centre’s mission,” says Executive Director of the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society, Aaron Deans.
For more information about volunteering with Allan Brooks Nature Centre visit Allan Brooks Volunteer Page. If you would like to donate to the Spring Mega Garage and Plant Sale, call the Centre at (250)-260-4227 to arrange to drop your items off. The Centre can also arrange volunteers to pick up items from you if you can’t deliver them.