Butterfield Sale to Benefit School, Community and Winter Wardrobes
A well organized fundraiser enjoys twelve years of community support, willing volunteers, and considerable bargains.
The buzz surrounding the Butterfield Family Association’s consignment sale, set for Oct. 19 and 20, has already begun. The sale, consisting of gently-used children’s clothing and toys, has been a growing success for 12 years, with lines forming outside the school’s doors well before the sale opens.
Thousands of Bargain Hunters
While no official count has been made, Jill Turco, BFA clothing sale board co-chair, believes the sale attracts between 1,000 to 2,000 people each year. Most buyers are from Libertyville and nearby communities, but some come from outer areas of Lake County and beyond.
“We do have a couple people that come from out of state,” Turco says. “They know when our sale is and always come. They say it’s because our sale is so organized and clean.”
A Well Groomed Sale
Organization is a key to the sale’s success. Turco says the board placed a limit on the number of sellers the sale will accept. After 200 families have registered, sellers are placed on a waiting list.
“There are a lot of sales that have a 50-50 split,” Turco explains. “We give our sellers 60 percent, which I think is a real incentive. But we have to limit our items or it gets too chaotic.”
The board also goes through all of the consigned items, sending back any items that are too dirty or worn.
“If we wouldn’t buy it, then we won’t sell it,” Turco says.
The BFA, a group comprised of parent volunteers who lead fundraisers and events to help enhance the school’s education, receives the remaining 40 percent. Each year, the BFA holds these consignment sales in the winter and spring. Turco says the money raised through these sales make up about 30 percent of the group’s annual funds. In the past, the BFA has been able to purchase playground and gym equipment, art supplies, as well as other school needs.
A Community of Volunteers
Also adding to the sale’s success is the base of volunteers that sign up to help each year. Volunteers are offered the opportunity to shop the pre-sale before opening.
“We get a lot of people that love to find a great bargain,” Turco says. “Some of them we know on a first name basis and they’re not even in this district. These are the people that are making this sale work.”
After shopping and consigning clothing at the sale for four years, Carleigh Goldsberry, a Butterfield mom of three, recently joined the BFA clothing sale board.
“I pretty much go home with two gigantic bags of clothes from the winter sale,” says Goldsberry. “I find jackets, boots, snowpants, Halloween costumes, all of those things that you don’t want to buy new because they only wear them for a short period of time.”
Goldsberry says the sale attracted her because of its organization, cleanliness and quality of items sold.
“I also like to donate their old things,” she explains. “Every once in a while you catch someone else wearing your child’s clothing, and it’s nice to see the clothes, which are still in great shape, living on. They’re recycled.”
After the sale, all remaining items are donated to other charitable organizations, like the National Children’s Cancer Society, Aid For Women, Passion Outreach and Bernie’s Book Bank.
Each year, Turco says, there are an estimated 20 boxes of donated items that go to charity.
“It’s nice because we’re doing something for our school while giving back to the community, and so are our sellers," she says.
This year’s sale will be held Oct. 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 20 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the Butterfield School gymnasium. A half off sale will be held on Saturday.