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The Swannanoa Valley Museum raised $3,500 during its recent rummage sale. The money will benefit the community through additional free museum programming, expanded educational services, improved resource room, archive space, object storage, exhibit space and new facilities in 2016.

Soon, museum board member and treasurer Yolanda Smith will begin collecting items for the 2016 rummage sale. The event is a full year in the making, and this year was no exception.

This year, more than 20 volunteers set up the red and white tent, put up tables, unpacked hundreds of boxes, unloaded truckloads of furniture and then cleaned everything up in less than an hour.

Smith, who spends most of the year collecting gently used items and stores them in her basement, has been organizing the event for the museum and the community since 2004. She personally coordinates drop-offs and pickups for those who are donating.

“The rummage sale has really become a community affair,” Smith said. “You see all types of people come out to look at what we have on the tables. Hardly anyone walks away empty-handed.”

Each year, Smith trains more volunteers and fine-tunes the procedure so that almost all of the set-up, sale and breakdown happen efficiently in less than 48 hours.

Rummage sale volunteers donate their time, talent, tents, trucks and tables.

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