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American Association of University Women holds garage sale fundraiser for scholarships

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 3:36 pm

For many years, Lodi residents have generously supported the American Association of University Women Garage Sale. In the early 1990s, the annual book sale expanded to the current garage sale. For years, the garage sale was held the same day as the Street Fair and we benefitted from the citywide flea market atmosphere.

One year, a man in a pick up truck, which was filled with priced items, pulled up into our unloading space. We unloaded his truck and thanked him for his donations. When asked whose husband he was, he told us he didn’t know anyone here and hadn’t intended to donate anything. As we chatted, we slowly realized, he had unwittingly parked in our unloading zone and his truck had been filled with recently purchased items from another garage sale, which explains why his items were already priced. Once we realized we had made a big mistake, we dashed around our sale for his items to return to his truck. Luckily, none of them had been sold. When his truck was reloaded, he zoomed off without purchasing anything or so much as a friendly wave or goodbye. The next year, for unrelated reasons, we changed the date of our garage sale.

That same year, several people paid us with counterfeit $100 bills. Because all our items are donations and the profits from our garage sale provide funds for our scholarships, that crime was financially devastating and left us with feelings of betrayal and disappointment. Lorraine Ramsey wrote an angry letter to the editor, which was published in the Lodi News-Sentinel. Marshall Merriam, who at that time was a newcomer to Lodi, read the letter and was moved to make a generous donation to our scholarship fund. He remains a good friend to AAUW.

To this day, many people make their $2 or $5 purchases and give us $10 or $20 and tell us to keep the change. They rarely bargain as is customary at other garage sales.

This year, once again the Lodi community was generous to AAUW and the result is that we are able to fund a $1,000 scholarship to a senior girl at each of the LUSD comprehensive high schools. In addition, the Cooper family provided a $1,000 scholarship administered by AAUW to a Tokay student in memory of Joan Cooper, a longtime AAUW member and former substitute teacher at Tokay.

— Source: Suga Moriwaki

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