Treasure trove of bargains
By Janna Odenthal Post-Tribune correspondent November 2, 2012 3:58PM
Phyllis Kretz (right), of DeMotte, browses at the booth of Angie Metzger (not shown), of Valparaiso, during the Fall Garage Mahal presented by Whispering Pines Health Care Center at the Porter County Expo Center. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
Whispering Pines Health Care Center, 3301 N. Calumet Ave., Valparaiso, is a 24-hour care nursing facility that provides therapy and rehabilitation. To learn more about Whispering Pines or future fundraisers, call 462-0508 or visit the website www.wphcc.org.
Updated: December 5, 2012 6:24AM
As the presidential election nears, signs and slogans are more abundant than ever, including several political buttons promoting candidates Nixon, Agnew, Humphrey and Wallace.
These collectibles were among the interesting finds available recently at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso, where Whispering Pines Health Care Center sponsored its Fall Garage Mahal. The indoor garage sale served as a fundraiser for the nursing care facility.
More than 3,000 people attended. For many, it was the ideal preholiday shopping trip. For others, it was a treasure hunt where they could find priceless and unique collectibles. Hundreds of door prizes also were given away.
Some 140 vendors displayed merchandise of all sorts. Shoppers browsed through tables covered with jewelry, dolls, tools, sports equipment, household items and more. Larger items included a roll-top desk, sleds, bicycles, furniture and a variety of antiques.
Dee Frazee of LaPorte viewed a glamorous rhinestone spider pin at one of the booths.
“I’m finding some good deals and treasures,” Frazee said. “I got an old 1972 green dish in the shape of Christmas candles. There are a lot of people, a huge crowd. I like this; it’s a lot of fun.”
Electronic robots, fine china, specialty knives and a fur coat were intermingled with a Whirlpool refrigerator, Maytag dryer, teddy bears, small carousel horses, handmade quilted purses, and Mrs. Butterworth syrup bottles. The variety of items was endless.
Vendor Cindy Hickle of Winamac brought homemade items from her company, Garden Glitz. Her creations included snowmen made from wine glasses, outdoor décor made from glass plates, dishes, teacups and other items.
“It’s all recycled glassware,” Hickle said. “I’ve been making them for about three years. I travel all over looking for glassware at garage sales and Goodwill stores.
“This sale is great; it’s really big. A lot of people came through. I made some purchases from other vendors. It’s very organized.”
Whispering Pines resident bakers, nicknamed “The Cookie Cutters,” sold homemade bread, cookies, Rice Krispie treats, muffins and more.
Marissa Wilson, marketing director, coordinated the event.
“This is the first year we’ve ever done it,” she said. “We’re really happy. As long as we see the vendors are happy, then we know it’s a success.”