Last spring, Museum of Redlands supporters Char Burgess and Shelli Stockton had an idea. Covid 19 had these normally busy women stranded in their homes. As Burgess tells it, “As we all started cleaning out in March, I realized there was nowhere to take the wonderful treasures we were finding, so I thought how about a grand upscale sale to benefit the Museum of Redlands? We had an empty building, people would donate their treasures and who knew we would be so wonderfully successful thanks to the generosity of so many.”
Photo left: Sale Co-Chairs Char Burgess and Shelli Stockton pose for Redlands Community News Editor, James Folmer before the sale begins.
The response by fellow Redlanders was far beyond expectations. Several families decided to donate the contents of family homes instead of holding personal estate sales. Some brought wedding china and silver that had seldom or never been used. From sporting goods to paintings, tools to Redlands’ memorabilia, books to furniture, the items just kept coming in.
Burgess and Stockton directed a small army of volunteers over many weekends during the hot months of summer. Items were sorted, arranged in categories and priced for quick sale. Pictures were hung, jewelry was artfully displayed, and clothing items were put on racks. Once the merchandise was in its’ place, the team had to come up with a system for managing shoppers while complying with the coronavirus safety restrictions.
Photos above: Items were organized into categories. In bottom right, volunteers Jeanne Gaylord, Char Burgess, Baljit Toor, Shelli Stockton and Carol Betancourt attend to the art and collectibles room.
On September 26, 60 early birds (who paid $10 apiece for the opportunity) arrived early to wait for the doors to open at 8:00am. 50 volunteers donned neon vests and were stationed throughout the facility. The University of Redlands’ basketball team arrived to help with the heavy lifting. Over the course of the next four days, over 400 people attended the sale and the cashiers tallied more than 400 sales transactions. Proceeds exceeded more than $25,000.
Photos above: Shelli Stockton delivers last-minute instructions before the doors open. Shoppers lined up well before 8am and the line wrapped around the building. Shirley Linden readies wrapping papers. Univ. of Redlands Basketball players (left to right: Aiden Williams, Colin McCarthy, Dame Duckett, Gary Menary) did the heavy lifting. Boxes ready to load in cars.
Said Shelli Stockton, "We were overwhelmed, both by the quantity and quality of the items donated and by the number of volunteers who enthusiastically stepped forward to help sort and price the material. It was an example so like what we know about Redlanders, they are eager to step up and help and are looking forward to making the Museum of Redlands a reality."
Added Char Burgess, “Now people even want us to do the sale annually, but as construction starts on the Museum, we would need to find an empty building; so the future of a sale is unknown at this point.”
Photos above: Cashiers Jason (standing) and Charissa Dressel (in black) get ready for customers. Volunteers Steve Stockton, Danielle Trynoski, Shelli Stockton, Marilyn Solter, Char Burgess, and Monte Stuck at closing time. Mascot Joan of Bark Trynoski kept every one on task.
The Museum of Redlands project is out for bid. Tilden-Coil is overseeing the reconstruction and re-purposing of the old Redlands Daily Facts building at Brookside and Center Streets. Look for construction in December.
Help us build the Museum of Redlands! Simply click the GIVE button at the top of the page to make a donation. MOR will not be built by one person but by our community.
Photo right: Marilyn Solter and Cathy Schilling begin the huge task of sorting items into categories.