Junk junkies unite in Basalt
May 11, 2012
BASALT – Aspen Community School Principal Jim Gilchrist hopes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – at least for the next three days.
“It’s one big, crazy, giant garage sale,” Gilchrist said in reference to the charter school’s annual fundraiser, which runs through Sunday at Willits Town Center in Basalt. “We’ve spent the last six to eight weeks collecting people’s treasures – things they no longer want.
“And I have to say, it’s quite a collection of things … housewares, sporting goods, everything from beautiful antiques to marbles. You just never know what you’re going to find.”
In fact, the school has amassed a mountain of treasures for garage-sale shoppers to peruse, with the proceeds going straight back to the school. If the past few years are any indication, the money raised could be significant – in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. But the need for those funds is also significant, Gilchrist noted.
“This is the life-ring that keeps us from having to cut back further; it’s the margin I need so that all the teachers get rehired, the eighth-grade trip can become a reality,” he said. “Fortunately, the amount we raise is typically about what the state cuts from our schools every year.
“This is really essential funding for us, and it’s an opportunity for people who can’t donate a lot toward education to contribute.”
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Of course there is more to Aspen Community School’s annual garage sale than fundraising. Like the school’s name itself, this event is all about “community,” according to organizers.
“The best thing about this is the community-building,” Gilchrist said. “We take stuff people don’t want – and they’re especially happy when they find out it’s going to help education. Then other people are able to buy stuff they want – and they’re especially happy when they find out it’s going to help education. And then the thrift shops are able to take what’s left and give it to people in need.
“It’s a win-win.”