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Clothing Sale, Now a Decade Old, Set for Saturday, May 20
08:44AM / Thursday, May 18, 2017
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PTO volunteers sort and tag items for the annual clothing sale, set for Saturday, May 20.

Volunteers of all ages help make the clothing sale successful.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Fresh off being named the "Best Annual Consignment Sale" in the Berkshires, the annual Williamstown Elementary School PTO clothing sale will be held Saturday, May, 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

The sale has been an annual or bi-annual event for more than 10 years and is the largest fundraiser for the school's PTO, raising approximately enough to cover the money the PTO annually gives to each classroom at the school to help with academic materials.

The sale features gently used clothing and shoes sized from infant to teen styles, including pajamas, swimwear and outerwear, as well as infant bedding/gear, sporting and dance apparel, costumes, accessories and maternity items. The sale featuring items for all seasons, including high-quality winter coats. All items will be 50 percent off from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

"We feel very fortunate that the community has built a tradition of generous donations to our cause, resulting in the overall high quality of our offerings," said event organizer Laura Staneff. "We also make it a point to keep our prices lower than comparable items on eBay or consignment stores."

Staneff said this year boasts an especially strong showing of teen styles (girls and boys) and they have reached out to area high schools with posters specifically highlighting that fact, hoping to attract older kids in search of good bargains.

Bins of donated clothing wait to be sorted.

The event hit some snags last fall, when finding storage and working space become an issue. That was resolved, however, and Staneff said co-coordinators Jen Bayliss, Jenna Dickinson and Hailey Rinaldi have been working weekly since October sorting and tagging items. While they work, their young children are watched by fifth- and sixth-graders, an arrangement that has been very successful for the moms, the kids and the beginning babysitters alike.

Staneff said upwards of 40 individuals volunteers the day of the sale, and more are always welcome. When the sale is over, she said, organizers save some items for the next sale and donate the remainder, usually to Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires.

"This year we have also invited several local charities that may need clothing items to come and see if there is anything they can use before we bag the remainder for Goodwill," she said.

As for being named the county's "Best Annual Consignment Sale" in the Berkshire Family Focus "Family Favorite Awards," Staneff said organizers were surprised and happy.

"This was pretty amazing to us, as we were not previously aware of the competition or the fact that we were even nominated," she said, even though the sale is more of a tag sale than a consignment sale. "Of course, we are thrilled to have won it all the same. We are not sure how we have attracted attention outside of Williamstown, but no doubt our Facebook page has played a role in that. For the last couple of sales we have advertised through Facebook and found it, and the spreading network of ‘likes' that it encourages, an effective way to spread news of the sale."

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