Most people don’t realize that St. Vincent de Paul in Tacoma has a show room. It’s not as bright and shiny as the stores in our local shopping areas like Towne Center, Tacoma Mall, and South Hill, but it has some nice looking furniture, carpets, and treasures to offer – at much lower prices.
My wife Peg and I visited St. Vinnies on South 56th Street recently, looking for an auction donation. Peg belongs to Soroptomists. She is the club secretary. Soroptomists International Tacoma supports scholarships and stipends for post-secondary education for adult women of any age or circumstances, multi-week career training for middle and high school girls, aids the American Lake Golf Course Disabled Veterans program and is a founding and supporting member of the Pierce County Coalition against Trafficking. Peg says, “Our motto is Educate, Empower and Enable.” Both Soroptomists and St. Vinnies help the people of our community.
Peg and I attended St. Vinnies first fund raising auction in Tacoma a few months ago. All of the auction items came directly from donations made directly to their store. Auction guests loved the idea and the fund raising evening was very, very, successful. Peg thought working together with St. Vinnies would be a great idea. Peg loves the efforts of both organizations. Peg gushed, “We host our 18th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, September 6 at the Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood. It consists of an 18 hole course and includes a hotdog lunch, a photo for each of your foursome’s members, a barbecue dinner and a silent auction. Last year we netted almost $8,000 from it. For more golf information, go to facebook.com/SITacoma or call Chairman Sharon Bittner at 253-531-4750. The item donated by St. Vinnies will be placed in the silent auction.
Tracy Peacock, St. Vinnies Executive Director met us and gave Peg a private tour. Decisions, decisions, decisions. What to choose? It was like the old TV Show Let’s Make a Deal. Peg found a beautiful fruit bowl with a clear glass bottom and gold foil sides with green and yellow pears. This is the kind of item that goes with nice furniture and a view. I can think of several friends who might love it.
Can you imagine a child or a grandchild sitting astride “Lucky” and riding the range? This is a perfect auction item for the event. There are a lot of grandparents as well as young parents who play in the tournament.
There were several other pieces that Peg liked, but I already knew what Peg wanted to choose. It was an antique red and black Chinese plant pot holder with a delicate matching side table. A potted plant would fit right inside. The red and black colors were vivid and lovely. We went up stairs to talk with Tracy. As Peg chatted with Tracy in her office I looked down on the show room floor and saw a young man pick up the Chinese plant holder and head towards the cashier. Bargains come and bargains go . . . when you see one you need to pick it up and hug it to death.
“I’m trying to clear out my garage at home. I bring everything I can as donations to St. Vinnies all the time, which really pleases my wife. The problem is that I usually return home with bargains I just couldn’t resist. My wife says she’s just going to give me a check for a donation and give me twenty dollars cash to spend. But the jokes on her. I can still have a good time with twenty bucks at St. Vinnies.” – Jackie Brown – Lakewood
Peg will have to return and shop again. Tracy said, “Come on back anytime. Our stock is constantly changing. Most people would be amazed at some of the items that come from our shelves. If I see something that might do really well for you, I’ll set it aside and give you a call.” Next time we’ll have to grab what Peg wants for the auction and hold on. I carried out an armful of treasures to our car I bought while we were there. As we drove away I took a quick look at the billboard: “Yard Furniture Blowout Sale – All Items $5-$25” I hesitated and Peg said, “No, maybe next time.”