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mammoth sale

February 3, 2023 - 11:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, mammoth sale, batavia, st. joseph's school.


What do a pedal car, antique doll, photo of Elvis, and a World War II-era newspaper have in common?

They’re all going to be part of the Mammoth Thrift Shop this weekend, of course. What began as a way to deal with the massive crowds during COVID protocols has become another seasonal tradition, organizer John Bowen said.

"We had to change the dynamics once COVID hit," he said.

The sale is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at St. Joseph’s School at the corner of Summit and East Main streets, Batavia. All proceeds benefit the school.

The pandemic and social distancing meant no jam-packed cafeteria, which is what the yearly Mammoth Sale drew, he said. So that sale was divvied up, and the shop opened up on the first weekend in February and remained open for most weekends until Black Friday, he said.

The regular Mammoth sales will still happen the first weekend after Easter and in July, featuring the larger items such as patio furniture. That’s not to say shoppers will be disappointed with what’s in store this weekend, he said.

Bowen and fellow volunteer Norm Argulsky have been setting up displays of antiques — 1900s and later, including a pedal car, cash register, collectible dolls, rock'em sock'em robots, signed memorabilia of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, Barbie dolls from the 1970s, red, green and blue glass; handmade bears, collectible dolls in original boxes, high-end toys, Barbie accessories, and much more, he said.

“People know our sale,” Bowen said. “There’s something for everybody. Every penny goes back to the school.”

“A stack of newspapers from World War II up, chairs, tables, lamps, nice pictures, dining tables, and end tables,” he said. “We have a three-in-one poker table. There's also a dining table and a puzzle table.”

And he wasn’t done. There are tons of glassware, purses, watches, books, CDs,  farmer’s gear, overalls, a kitchen room with utensils, appliances, coffee makers, toasters, rolling pins, and theme tables: St. Patty’s, Valentine’s and Easter.

There is also a collection of religious items — rosaries, statues, Bibles — and those are being donated upon request.

“It’s a whole different setup, it’s a way to get the community involved,” he said. “We’re taking donations 24/7. People can leave them on the covered porch between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

Donations may include clothing, pillows, jewelry, recliners, loveseats, bedding, and most anything except for bulky items, such as old TVs, bowling balls and big couches.

There will be a sneak peek, he said, from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. So feel free to visit and check out the goods this evening.

Photos by Howard Owens.








April 14, 2022 - 5:11pm


There’s only one way to say it: the big one is back, John Bowen says.

After a two-year break, the annual Mammoth Sale will be a treasure trove of assorted goodies to benefit St. Joseph’s School, Bowen said Wednesday to The Batavian. The sale that’s grown so enormous for any words other than “Mammoth” will return for the public on April 21, 22 and 23 at the elementary school at 2 Summit St.

“It’s going to be different this year,” Bowen said. “On Wednesday (April 20), we’re having a special promotion day, it’s a special thank-you for all of our supporters.”

All emergency responders, fire department, law enforcement, hospital employees, stores that have donated goods and related office staff from Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are invited from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday to shop with a 50 percent discount. 

There will be plenty to choose from on all four days of the event, Bowen said, with collections of lamps, dining and living room chairs, flower and terracotta pots and “really nice kids’ toys,” including a large puppet stage, picnic tables, a work bench, sandbox, assorted toys and chairs and a Thomas the Train set-up. 

Other items include women’s purses, hand-painted furniture, a Xerox work center 7535, Mason jars with covers, antique bottles of varying shapes and colors, soda fountain sundae cups and some 12 feet of appliances — brand new still in the box — such as coffee and waffle makers. A table of gift baskets, a “huge furniture section” and knick-knacks, dishes and paintings round out the offerings laid out in the school cafeteria. And while in the cafeteria, shoppers may want to nibble on a little something, perhaps the homemade soup, wrapped baked goods, freshly made popcorn, doughnuts, or a slice or two of pizza.

Bowen and fellow co-chairpersons Mary Barbeau and Norm Argulsky are grateful for the donated food items from Tim Horton’s, Ficarella’s, Main St. Pizza Company, Cinquino’s and Pizza 151, and gift basket items from many other local businesses. 

Some of the COVID-19 protocols are still in place, and a small core of volunteers are ensuring that everything is being done right, Bowen said. That means cleaning, wrapping, containing, serving and ensuring that sale and food items are safe. Before the pandemic hit, there was a stage of clearance items for 75 percent off, and that will return for this event. Although the cafeteria can accommodate a couple of hundred people, staff will be monitoring the area to make sure it doesn’t get too congested with foot traffic, he said. 

As a longtime volunteer for nearly 18 years, Bowen has watched the event become an ever-improving one. “COVID threw us a curveball,” he said, adding that he and his co-chairs have had to adjust to new ways of doing things. 

Donations have been slower than usual so far this year, he said, and he encourages donations of “almost everything,” which now includes clothing. Pick-up of larger items may be possible with advance arrangements, and donations can be dropped off at the school’s annex throughout the year.

Bottom line for the Mammoth sale is that “every penny goes to the school,” Bowen said. All proceeds go to St. Joseph’s School to help with emergency funding, which may be anything from a roof repair, electrical issues and equipment needs to bus expenses for a student field trip. The goal this year is to raise $10,000, which is “a realistic goal,” he said, given the items up for sale. 

Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (April 21) noon to 8 p.m. Friday (April 22) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday (April 23). For more information, call (585) 297-7629



Top photo: The Mammoth Sale is filled with several items big and small, from dishes, paintings and children's toys to furniture and household appliances. Co-chairs John Bowen and Mary Barbeau review the items list, various displays of goods are being prepared for the sale, co-chairman Norm Argulsky prices items, co-chairwoman Mary Barbeau sets up a display, all at St. Joseph's School at 2 Summit St., Batavia. Photos by Howard Owens. 

April 19, 2021 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, mammoth sale, batavia, news.


Press release:

St. Joe’s Regional School recently experienced a successful Mini Mammoth Sale at their new location in the school’s Annex building across from the school. The new location has five rooms loaded with items of all types, from furniture to a shop of collectibles and vintage articles.

The sale has expanded to include Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon for the months of April and May, and sales throughout the year.

Donations of jewelry, furniture, household items and collectibles are greatly appreciated and can either be dropped off on the Annex porch or picked up by calling Randa Williams at (585) 356-5333.

A huge thank you to all who have supported our school through donations or purchases since we are no longer connected to a parish.  Also, thank you to Carmen Campbell from the PennySaver as our promotional partner, Rick and Tom Mancuso for our storage facilities, and Dave at Tim Hortons for keeping our volunteers in Timbits and coffee.  Also, Anibal Soler, city schools superintendent, and his executive secretary Brittany Witkop for advertising support.

John Bowen, Randa Williams, and Norm Argulsky and the school could not be successful without the support of the community.    

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo, sale cochairs Randa Williams and John Bowen.







April 27, 2019 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, batavia, St. Joe's, mammoth sale.
Video Sponsor
March 24, 2019 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in mammoth sale, St. Joe's, charity, news, batavia.

Get ready for the eye-poppin' big honkin' "Mega Mega Mammoth" sale at St. Joseph School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.

Billed as Western New York's largest indoor garage sale, it will feature "tons of indoor and outdoor furniture," and "tens of thousands of items." (As someone said "It's like they've been saving up for it since the last Ice Age!")

Whether you're interested in antiques, arts and crafts, collectibles and vintage wares or you want to check out gobs of household goods, baby things, linens galore, kitschy stuff/whatnots and holiday doodads, righteously expect an elephantine selection. 

In a nutshell, a stupefying amount of merchandise will fill two gargantuan showrooms, a ginormous second floor and a billowing, bulging tent. 

To be abundantly clear, it will behoove bargain hunters to go to this behemoth bazaar at the corner of East Main and Summit streets in the City of Batavia next month.

Admission is free to this "quality sale" with low, low prices and basket raffles; hot dogs and hamburgers and will be available for sale, too.

April 7, 2018 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, mammoth sale, batavia, news.







March 27, 2018 - 9:27am


St. Joe's Mammoth Sale, which is Western New York's Largest annual indoor garage sale, is on Saturday April 7th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria of St. Joesph's School at 2 Summit St., Batavia. Pictured are co-chairs Randa Williams, left, and Kathy Stefani who organize this annual event, now in its 14th year.

"We start about two weeks after the last sale in early May -- that takes about a year to prepare for," Stefani said.

Many volunteers help prepare and sorting collectables, furniture, household goods for sale at St. Mary's on a weekly basis until the event. One key item she points out is it's FREE, no admission cost to get in and has been since she started this as the largest fundraiser for the school.

A couple of her big supporters are: Mary Dee Ognibene, who gathers more than 600 boxes from TOPS in Batavia in her little red car; Rick Mancuso, who donates a storage facility annually to store the furniture and bigger items; and Jerry Fisk, who repairs items as needed.

In addition, there will be a cafe with breakfast and lunch available for purchase, raffle baskets and tens of thousands of items to choose from.

If you would like to donate any items and/or volunteer the day of the event, contact Kathy Stefani at 344-2701





April 20, 2017 - 7:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, news, St. Joe's, mammoth sale.

St. Joe's Mammoth Garage Sale -- billed as the largest of its kind in Western New York -- will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, April 22 at St. Joseph School. 

It is located in the City of Batavia at 2 Summit St. -- on the corner of East Main Street and Summit Street.

Tens of thousands of items will be for sale at this indoor venue, including many collectibles and even some antiques! Rain or shine!

Admission is free. Try for a chance to win a raffle basket. Baked goods will be offered for sale.

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