Trash to Treasures another success

Tables of various shapes and usage spotted the lawn next to the massive tent. There were kitchen tables, coffee tables, end tables; some had nice smooth tops while others were scratched and worn from years of use. Rows of desks, couches and chairs lay under the large tent. A few wicker chairs had holes through the seat but were still marked at $20 or $25 apiece. Couches averaged from $150 to $300 each.
The Amherst Survival Center's annual Trash to Treasures sale attracted many buyers a couple of weekends ago. According to Tracey Levy, a volunteer recruit at the center, they sold over $22,000 worth of furniture. Between the sale and the money they received in sponsorship, she estimated they may have earned $36,000 in total. The sale has been around for 10 to 15 years now, Levy said.
A team is in charge of organizing the sale. They begin putting it together in January and don't start asking for donations until May. The reason for this is because of where the furniture is stored during the months before the sale. ìWe have some storage trailers that were generously donated to us where we store the furniture,î Levy said. These trailers are located off of the center's property. ìThe trailers are not in great shape.î
Each day at this year's sale there were between 40 and 50 volunteers. These numbers don't include those who setup or pick up items. Volunteers are all different ages and have different backgrounds, and some even come from local sports teams, such as the UMass teams for lacrosse, crew, and tennis. The fraternity Theta Chi participated both this year and last. The Amherst College track team also volunteered this year.
The UMass Baseball team has participated for the last two years. Rob Mclam, a freshman on the team, was at the sale on its first day. He said that team members came in shifts of a few people at a time and each group stayed for an hour and a half.
ìA lot of stuff has gone already,î said fellow teammate Robert Machado, a junior, when the first day was almost over. He was sitting next to Mclam on a couch that was just outside the tent. When asked about the pricing of the furniture he said, ìSome I'd say yes, some no, some is overpriced.î
At the end of the sale a lot of furniture was thrown into a dumpster, including a couch that'd been marked down from $300 to $150, probably in a final effort to get something out of it. ìThe Trading Post (a used furniture store) come and take some of it. The rest of it we try to give away. We put the rest in the dumpster. If you show up 15 minutes before the sale ends, you can pretty much name your price,î Levy said.