LAKE VILLA, Ill. -- Rain or shine, come visit the Prince of Peace Rummage Sale. Indoors, reams of clothes, toys, and collectibles fill eight classrooms and a gym. Outdoors, rows of small and large tents house appliances, sporting goods, powered tools and an assortment of other big-ticket items.
Prince of Peace Church kicks off the summer rummage sale season in northwestern Lake County with its indoor-outdoor extravaganza June 6-7 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and June 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale is located at the corner of Routes 83 and 132.
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The must-stop-and-shop rummage sale has been a fixture in Lake Villa for 16 years, drawing shoppers from all over Lake County, Cook County, southern Wisconsin, and eastern McHenry County.
"You might say we're national," quipped Rauch, rummage sale chairperson. "We know relatives from out of state who plan their vacations to visit family in the area and they make sure they stop at the rummage sale."
Thousands of treasure seekers, bargain hunters, and professional rummage salers pass through the 26-acre site each year -- all in search for that rare find, clothes for a growing family, or a gently used riding mower.
"It's like an indoor mall and outdoor sidewalk shopping all wrapped up into one location," Rauch said. "It's a suburban bazaar for the whole family to come and enjoy."
As one of the largest rummage sales in northwestern Lake County, rummage sale organizers have had to become more creative with both the indoor and outdoor space. Past rummage sales have also offered a range of cars, minivans, boats, campers, and other recreational vehicles.
"We get bigger and bigger every year, which requires more and more floor or ground space to display our goods both indoors and outdoors," Rauch said. "We have also expanded recycling operations, added food and refreshments, and introduced new services such as delivery for large items."
Something for Everyone
Classrooms are categorized by men's, women's and children's clothing, as well as antiques, collectibles, crafts, linens, books, and toys. The gym is stacked with computers, stereos, home and office furniture, and appliances, such as washers, dryers and refrigerators. Outdoor tents showcase sporting goods, tools, vehicles, auto parts, mowers, and an array of auto, specialty, and lawn and garden tools.
"There's something for everyone, the growing family, first-time homebuyers, the hobbyist, the empty nester, the college student, families, antique lookers, treasure seekers, collectors," Rauch said. "One thing is for certain, we have everything you need or don't need."
Rauch credits the success of the rummage sale to the large contingent of volunteers who assist throughout the year. Parishioners collect, store and unload donations that come in during the winter and spring months. School parents organize rooms; Boy Scouts pitch tents; Girl Scouts babysit and help parents keep the rooms orderly; high school students in need of service hours do an array of chores; local businesses donate tables, shopping carts, food, and odds and ends; Most Blessed Trinity Church in Waukegan lends a helping hand; and the Lake County Sheriff's Office Explorers provide security and crowd control.
"It's really a church and community effort," Rauch said. "During the three days, you will find more than 200 volunteers along with their family and friends helping to serve up food and beverages, assist you throughout the grounds, or load your merchandise."
It doesn't end with the sale. Organizers have built relationships with a network of organizations that come on the last day. Blankets and linens have gone to local animal shelters; women's clothes and children's books have gone to women's shelters; various nonprofit organizations will come by to pick up the remaining items, while a truckload of leftovers goes to Good Will.
"Everything goes," Rauch said.
Donations are still being accepted through June 4. For more information, call 847-356-6111 or email email@example.com.