The Turnover has a long and venerable local history. The United Methodist Women, who sponsor the sale, date back to the nineteenth century. Their sale was born in the Depression, with the first Rummage Sale, as it was then known, in 1933. The first event was held in a vacant store in Maplewood, perhaps a reflection of the time and the need.
By 1942, the popular and growing event moved from storefront to church. Early records note that the sale was christened “Turnover” to better describe how goods “turn over” from one family to another. The sale earned $474 that year, the work of some two dozen volunteers.
It took until the 1950s for the profits to see four figures. Money earned supported mission activities, just as it does now. Recent years have seen proceeds exceed $50,000 and volunteers number in the hundreds.
As far as the number of customers, which I try to guesstimate each year, it’s impossible to say. As customers enter, each person or family group is given an index card. That becomes a receipt that is handed in when the shoppers leave the building. What I’ve been told is that the Sale begins with 5000 index cards, and some years that’s not enough.
No matter: the crowds who line up outside the sale and shoppers who plan outings to Maplewood for this purpose suggest that the venerable sale has a healthy future ahead.
To volunteer or find out more, MorrowMem.org or 973 763-7676. The first date to donate is Monday, June 20. The first sale date is Saturday, July 2.
Turnover Sale Dates, 2011
Saturday, 7/2, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Tuesday, 7/5, 7-9 pm
Saturday, 7/9, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Tuesday, 7/12, 7-9 pm
Saturday, 7/16, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Tuesday, 7/19, 7-9 pm
Thursday, 7/21, 9:30 am-12:30 pm CLOSING DAY