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The great search for a bargain

Norm Hall (back, left), Dick Winderl (back, right), Chris Larson (front, left), John Armstrong (front, center) and Andy Graham (front, right) moved donated furniture out of Armstrong’s store on Perry Avenue Wednesday afternoon, gearing up for the 11th annual Rotary Auction Garage Sale to be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.    - Wesley Remmer/staff photo
Norm Hall (back, left), Dick Winderl (back, right), Chris Larson (front, left), John Armstrong (front, center) and Andy Graham (front, right) moved donated furniture out of Armstrong’s store on Perry Avenue Wednesday afternoon, gearing up for the 11th annual Rotary Auction Garage Sale to be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

Thousands will wait in line and swarm the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion today.

No, the newly reunited New Kids on the Block are not coming to town, but RAGS is taking over the fairgrounds.

The 11th annual Rotary Auction Garage Sale, or RAGS, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The highly anticipated one-day event is one of the largest garage sales in Kitsap County.

Bremerton Noon, East Bremerton, South Kitsap, Silverdale Noon and Silverdale Sunrise Rotary clubs are joining forces to put on the event. Second-time event chairman Dick Burkey, of Bremerton Noon Rotary, said RAGS typically draws about 5,000 people to the Fairgrounds for the annual event.

RAGS is the only function where the various Rotary Clubs get together to put on a community event and Silverdale Noon Rotary President Steve Slaton said he enjoys working with his fellow Rotarians from around the county.

“It’s great fellowship, it’s fun working together,” Slaton said. “We also have the opportunity to exchange ideas.”

People can find a little bit of everything at RAGS ranging from furniture to clothing to tools to automotive items. RAGS also features a silent auction and a raffle drawing for prizes including men’s and women’s watches, a Raleigh Mojave 2.0 bicycle, a bucket of KFC chicken a month for an entire year and gift certificates from local chiropractors.

Burkey said RAGS is a “win-win for everybody” because people get rid of their unwanted goods by donating them to RAGS and people can buy things they need or want at today’s auction and garage sale. All unsold goods are donated to local charities.

“There’s a lot of people that buy Christmas presents here,” Burkey said.

RAGS makes between $35,000 and $45,000 annually and all the proceeds go back into the Rotary clubs in the form of scholarships for local students and to support other Rotary-sponsored community projects.

This year, about 20 students from Bremerton, Olympic, Central Kitsap and South Kitsap high schools are offering their support and helping Rotarians set up for the event and collect and sort donations. Several Marines and USS Emory S. Land sailors also pitched in this week to sort donations and will help out Saturday.

“We give scholarships for the local kids at the schools and it’s just an opportunity for them to come out here and see how we get that money,” Burkey said.

Burkey said 50-70 Rotary members will turn out daily this week to help collect and sort donations, while between 110 and 120 Rotarians and volunteers will help out the day of the event.

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