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.