Rummage sale to benefit fire victims

Once the shock wore off, the generosity poured in. Donation sites popped up throughout the Mountain Area following the devastating destruction left in the wake of the Courtney Fire.

Most sites were filled within a few days, and now, because of the overflow, the donated items will be pooled and sold at a monster rummage sale to benefit the Oakhurst Area Fire Relief Fund. Monies in this fund are for those who lost their home in the recent fire, and have no insurance, or inadequate insurance.

The sale will be held from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, at the former Sportsman’s Den in the Old Mill Shopping Center (Vons).

There’s clothing and shoes for every size and occasion, pots and pans, and linens. There’s couches, chairs, televisions, lamps, and mattresses — literally too much to list.

Donations came in from as far away as Southern California. Because of their love of vacationing at Bass Lake, one family got their neighbors together to gather donations, which filled an SUV, a large trailer, and a mini-van. One person purchased a new stove to donate.

For every truck load that went out to these fire victims, another two came in filled with even more donations. Still, for some, it’s been difficult to receive.

“They’d much rather give,” said event coordinator and Realtor Kathy Thomas with Century 21 Ditton Realty, “... and this has been a humbling experience. They’ve lost everything ... everything but the few items they were able to pack-up and the clothes on their backs.”

“One woman who was trying to find a place to live, went to her bank for four straight days to deal with paperwork,” Cara Russell, assistant to Thomas, added, “and the teller asked her if she had anything else to wear yet. That made this woman realize that she had been wearing the same clothes day-after-day. I told her to come to our donation site to find another outfit, just so she could walk in her bank in different clothing.”

“The goal of this rummage sale is to raise monies that will be placed in the relief fund, to help those currently in need, or as a reserve,” Thomas continued. “I love seeing the giving and receiving ... it’s like the community has wrapped a comforting blanket around the fire victims. It’s amazing ... and touches my heart.”

Additional donations are being accepted Tuesday through Friday (Oct. 21-24) at the Sportsman Den, which will also be sold during the rummage sale.

The Rotary will have a food booth at the sale, with all proceeds going to the Oakhurst Area Relief Fund. Any other organizations interested in doing the same can contact Thomas.

To volunteer for set-up or help in sales, Kathy Thomas, (559) 683-7368, or