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Spring cleaning, 42 years running, for The Achievement Center

Lou Kuhl of Worthington, pictured Thursday morning while volunteering for The Achievement Center's upcoming rummage sale, has assisted with the annual event since 1998. (Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON --For the 42nd year straight year, The Achievement Center is hosting a rummage sale that will serve as a key source of revenue for the organization.

The sale is scheduled to begin May 10 -- the start of the event was pushed back one full week Wednesday because of a need for donations and inclement weather that has slowed organizational efforts -- and will continue through May 25 at the Worthington Hockey Arena. The sale could also be extended additional days, TAC Manager Don Brands said.

Hours for the sale will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturday, with a closing time of 5 p.m. now set for May 25.

"This is the main fundraiser for TAC," Gwen Clausen, project coordinator the sale, said Tuesday afternoon. "The money raised stays here in the community. It goes for funding for people with disabilities and their training out in the community, or else for special items for their job training."

As usual, an array of items -- all are required to be in working order -- are being accepted as donations (Brands said goods may be brought in through May 22) and placed for sale during the event. Suggested items for donations include antiques, dishes, quilts, furniture, jewelry, chairs, household goods, sofas, dishes, windows and doors, sporting goods, clocks, beds, dressers, light fixtures, toys, pillows, pottery, appliances, bicycles and miscellaneous. No televisions, microwaves, computers or electronics will be available at the rummage sale.

Clausen said the sale always has a variety of "treasures" for all kinds of shoppers.

"The May sale is really good for finding things if you have a child going to college in the fall, or for someone moving into a first-time apartment," she said. "Or, say you broke something that was your parents'? There's a good chance there's a replacement out here."

Clausen also recalled some eclectic purchases from sale customers, including a woman who bought all the available bowling balls to create "fun globes" and another who bought all the sweaters to make mittens.

"The inventory changes so much," Clausen said. "You need to come in daily because things are coming in and going out all the time.

"We've had people making donations from all the communities around Worthington, and we are so grateful for that," she added. "You can be the most amazing people."

Brands also indicated that a semi truck from Brandon, S.D., is expected to bring many more items to the sale on May 11. The truck will bring goods left over from that locale's city-wide rummage sale; it's the third year the truck is to bring the items.

In addition to the donations, volunteers remain an integral part of a successful rummage sale, Clausen said.

"I think my oldest volunteer is 88 years old ... and the Honor Society from the high school, they come over and volunteer," she explained. "We have some volunteers that come in from Lakefield. We even have one who flies in from Oregon and visits her mom but still comes out here and works, and it is so awesome."

Jerry Krull of Rushmore is one of the volunteers who have offered their services repeatedly.

"I came to make a donation about eight years ago and had some rods and reels I wanted a price on," he said. "They had some work for me to do, and eight years later, I'm still working. It's not all work, though -- it's a lot of fun."

Lou Kuhl of Worthington has volunteered with the rummage sale since 1998.

"I had retired from the packing plant and wanted to find something to do, but I didn't want it to take up too much time," said Kuhl, who added that he enjoys working with horses and is preparing for a Pipestone-to-Woodstock ride later this month.

"We're always looking for volunteers," Claussen stressed. "It's really flexible -- any time you can donate, just be prepared to have some fun. We'll find whatever job suits you the best, or whatever you enjoy doing."

The Achievement Center, operated by Hope Haven, has clients who work in-house making such items as stakes and lathes, Brands said, and TAC also offers sorting and packaging services to local businesses.

The annual rummage sale event is a key component of keeping these efforts ongoing.

"Whatever anybody donates is a treasure," Clausen said. "We have quality items, and each may be a treasure to somebody. You just never know."

Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

(507) 376-7320