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Nov. 25, 2020 | Wednesday
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St. Mark's online auction is 'the COVID closet clean out'
A new Ted Baker sweater is up for grabs. (Sourced)

St. Mark’s Anglican Church has expanded into online fundraising with its Haute Emporium Sale, and organizers say the web auction has already been met with a positive response from eager buyers.

Sale items are listed online at stmarksnotl.org/events/emporiumsale under various categories: fashion, accessories, decor, vintage clothing, jewelry, art, gifts, treasures and linens.

Once buyers find an item they want to purchase, they can email emporium1792@gmail.com with the item number, a brief description and the price. Organizers will email back with directions for payment and pickup times. All items must be picked up at St. Mark’s Anglican Church at 41 Byron St. in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Mitchell said all sales and item listing is being done manually. Patience is requested as church volunteers work through any kinks in the system.

Restructuring and moving the annual holiday sale online was a move born out of necessity, co-organizer Sally Mitchell said.

After the cancellation of the annual Cherry Festival in the summer, she said organizers began taking donations to prepare for an in-person holiday sale at the church rectory in November.

“Our original plan had been to have a sale for two weekends at the end of November. It would be full of our normal things, like Christmas decor and treasures, with clothing and vintage purses and shoes, all of that kind of thing,” she said.

“But with COVID restrictions, we're not allowed to have a large fundraising event at the church. So, we then decided to go to plan B and see if we could try and do something online.”

The online auction will be live for at least four to six weeks, she said.

“Our goal is to be able to sell everything we have,” she said. But she said the sale may kick up again after the holidays if there are still plenty of items available or if there is enough interest.

Sale items have been donated by congregation members and the community at large, she said.

“We have a very, very generous community. It’s the COVID closet clean out, that’s what I call it," she said. 

"Everybody that was pretty much indoors, I think just started going through closets, treasures and things, When they found out we were trying to have another big sale late in the fall, people started calling us" with donations, she said.

“So very much a combination of our own congregation and community. We've always had a lot of community support and we're really very thankful for it.”

Mitchell said planning and running the online auction is an endeavour run by many volunteers and church members.

She is co-organizer with Trudi Watson with a team including Carol Beckman, Elizabeth Jamieson and Faye House. Jewelry is overseen by Anjulika Chand and Lucy McEwan; Keith Bullen and Mary Webster manage the art pieces; David Levesque and Allison Kelly handle the website; and Andrea Douglas and many others work behind the scenes.

“Many, many more from the congregation helping catalogue, clean silver, wash and iron linens, hang artwork and distribute posters etc.,” she said.

As items sell, more will be added to the site, “at least weekly,” so check back frequently, she said.

Bargain hunters can find deals on items in several categories:

  • Vintage (clothing from renowned fashion houses including Armani, Givenchy and Prada)
  • Fashion (new and pre-owned ladies clothing)
  • Treasures (vintage china, collectibles, crystal, furniture, lamps and much more)
  • Jewelry (sterling silver and costume bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches)
  • Gift baskets (for all occasions)
  • Decor (holiday wreaths and Christmas items) 
  • Accessories (vintage leather, new and pre-owned purses, hats and belts)
  • Art (prints, watercolours, acrylics and decorative pieces)
  • Linens   
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