Coupeville Lions prepare for roaring good sale
— Created June 21, 2023 by Kathy Reed
By Kathy Reed
It’s hard to believe, but it’s nearly time for the 44th annual Coupeville Lions Garage Sale, to be held at the Coupeville Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 1 and from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, July 2, not counting the traditional “preview” Friday, June 30 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Hailed by the Coupeville Lions as the “biggest and best in our world,” this garage sale literally has something for everyone. Those attending will find an assortment of furniture, power tools, appliances, kitchen items, bikes, books, hardware, toys and games, holiday décor, electronics and sporting goods, to name a few.
Plus, organizers have seen big growth in one particular area this year.
“We have a gigantic plant sale section this year,” said Brian Pulk, who has headed up the garage sale committee for the past eight years. “That’s something that’s really been growing the last few years. Plus, we have lots of furniture and lots of kitchen stuff, tools, books…just a whole assortment of things. Everything except clothes.”
The Coupeville Lions work on this sale throughout the year, collecting donations from the community beginning in August. This year, the Lions’ three storage facilities were filled up by April. With so many items, it’s easy to imagine the organizational side of the sale takes time, as does moving everything to the elementary school.
“It’s a two-week project,” described Pulk, who noted the moving process has already begun. “It will take us three days to move not only the merchandise, but all the tables and racks we use. We spend a solid three days making loops with our trailers from our storage sites to the school to get everything. Then it takes about a week for the set up. Every department has a lead, whose team unpacks boxes, stages the merchandise, then prices it. That alone takes a week.”
All the Lions’ hard work and preparation pays off, according to Pulk.
“We have our preview day on Friday, so many people come out to determine what they want to buy,” he said. “Then they show up early Saturday morning to wait for the horn to go off. People literally run to those items they want to purchase. We rope off the entrance and there will be about 500 people waiting for us to blow the horn and let them in. It’s quite a sight every year.”
Pulk estimates the Coupeville Lions raise approximately $50,000 through this sale, all of which the organization contributes back to the community.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “It’s a good source for people who want to unload the things they don’t want any more. It’s a good opportunity to buy things at reasonable prices. And it’s a good opportunity to raise funds for the things we support. That includes Scout troops, school sports teams, Lions’ Camp Horizon for disabled adults, sight and hearing support for those who are financially challenged, medical equipment and the Boys and Girls Club. The money raised all goes to good causes.”
Though busy, the event is also a chance for members of the Coupeville Lions to see old friends.
“The thing I enjoy the most about it is working with my fellow Lions and people in the community,” Pulk said. “It’s a large club and there are people I don’t see often, but I see them at the sale. I like the camaraderie of doing the project.”
For those who have never attended the Lions’ garage sale, Pulk said it is an experience like no other.
“People have never seen anything like it in their life, especially if they come at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning,” he said. “We call it a garage sale, but that’s a little misleading. We take over the elementary school’s gym, multipurpose room and virtually all the outdoor grounds.”
The Coupeville Lions meet every Wednesday evening September through June and twice a month in July and August. Anyone interested in learning more about the club can visit coupevillelions.org.