With a map in hand, Jodi Rando, 64, and her daughter, Sandy Small, 41, set off for Sound Beach for their version of a garage sale scavenger hunt. For two hours, the duo visited as many sales as they could, picking up an odd assortment of treasures; Speedo goggles, a phone and a pair of doggy nail clippers were among their prized purchases.
“You know what they say, one person’s garbage is our treasure,” Rando said.
This weekend, the Sound Beach Civic Association organized a set of residential yard sales to promote community unity. Twenty-two Sound Beach residents participated in the event, setting up garage sales in the yards of their homes.
Sound Beach Civic Association president Bea Ruberto, 67, said the yard sale event was organized to help raise awareness for the group’s high school scholarship program, which awards $1,000 each to two high school seniors from Sound Beach. Because of a lack of donations over the year, the civic association has had issues raising money for the scholarship. This is the fifth year the scholarship is being offered.
“With our economy now, I think things like this are very helpful to the community, even the little things help,” Ruberto said.
Driving through the winding roads of Sound Beach, each street corner was tagged with bright, neon signs advertising where the yard sales were located. The civic association provided visiting customers with a map marking each location as well.
For participating residents, having a yard sale gave them an opportunity to clean out the unwanted items floating around their basements, garages and attics. Each resident had their histories laid out on their porches, told through old knickknacks, toys, tools and yellowed books.
“That’s one of those things about these yard sales,” Debbie Pulick, 59, of Sound Beach, said, “you get to talk to everyone and meet everybody in the neighborhood.”
Pulick has been slowly cleaning out the contents of her mother’s old home on Upton Drive after she passed away in March of this year. The home itself is a testament to the changing Sound Beach community – Pulick’s grandfather built the home from the ground up after purchasing the land in 1929. The house began as a tiny summer cottage, consisting of several rooms and a screened-in front porch, but it eventually grew into a full-time residence, handed off between different members of the family over generations.
“This place, it was my childhood,” Pulick, who plans on selling the house, said. “You come out to Sound Beach and it’s like you step off of the main road and into a quiet, magical place.”
This was the first year the civic association as held an organized garage sale event. However, it won’t be the last; Ruberto said the event got a lot of attention and positive support from Sound Beach residents.
“From the kind of feedback I’m getting, this event really stands out on its own,” Ruberto said. “This is something that’s going to work for our community, there’s a real community spirit here.”