Every year at Christmas, The Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, also known as the Pink Ladies, decorate the building with dark green trees, glittering garlands and shiny ornaments.
When the Pink Ladies moved into the new hospital in November 2009, they were careful not to get rid of the old decorations.
Instead of throwing them away, the Pink Ladies sold the decorations at the group’s annual fundraising yard sale Friday and Saturday on Mack Lane.
With temperatures pushing 85 degrees, four members of the Pink Ladies sat in the shade of a garage while they greeted customers who browsed tables of household items, clothes, books and decorations.
“We’ve really been trying to push the Christmas trees,” said Margaret Perez, who has been with the auxiliary for a year. She worked at the hospital, but decided to stay on as a volunteer when she retired.
“Getting to help the people and the hospital — it’s a privilege and an honor,” Perez said.
The Pink Ladies raised about $300 Friday, and expected to raise a little less than that from Saturday’s sales.
The funds will go toward helping the hospital purchase equipment, like blood pressure cuffs and obstetric monitors.
Pink Ladies donated their own items and a few things from the hospital gift shop to sell at the event.
On Saturday, Craig resident Stephanie Beckett perused the tables of trinkets, while her two sons, Holden and Hunter, excitedly picked every item that caught their eye.
While Beckett was entertained by an old Jane Fonda exercise book, her sons found small, space shuttle models and the busts of old presidents.
“It’s just fun,” Beckett said of yard sale shopping. “You never know what you’re going to find. We just come to see if we can find anything.”
And find they did.
After the Beckets boys paid for the two presidential bust statues, they learned there were a few rare items hidden inside Abraham Lincoln.
“There’s some very old collector’s edition cologne hidden inside,” pink lady Marge Mckenzie told them. “So, be careful with them. They’re very old.”
Beckett’s grandmother is a member of the auxiliary, and she said she was happy to support the organization.
“It’s a great asset to the hospital, and they really enjoy it,” she said.
But, the Pink Ladies’ event wasn’t Beckett’s first stop for the day.
She also visited the “Junk in the Trunk” sale, a joint yard sale to benefit First Congregational United Church of Christ, which featured an outdoor bazaar of clothing, books, baked goods and household items, in the church’s parking lot on Green Street.
One of the event’s organizers, Joann Stoddard, has been a member of the church for about 60 years. Her children and grandchildren grew up in the church, attending its youth groups.
She helped organize the event and donated items to sell to help her church pay off its new heating system.
“It’s been very steady all day,” she said of the yard sale. “You look at the tables now and you know things have gone.”
Several parishioners also paid for tables to display their wares, including Bev Rubley, who sold items to raise money for her Craig Relay for Life team.
“It’s nice to have this all in one place instead of stopping at different sales,” she said. Her group raised about $200 Saturday for the cancer fundraiser.
While officials didn’t have totals for the church’s part of the fundraiser, Rubley was confident parishioners’ giving nature would help them reach their goal.
They have been raising money for a year and are only a few hundred dollars away from paying off the $12,000 boiler. The yard sale could help put them over the top.
“I guess we all wanted to be warm,” she said.