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Hail nor rain stopped them

The Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion was packed for the 11th annual RAGS (Rotary Auction Garage Sale) Saturday.  - Rachel Brant/staff photo
The Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion was packed for the 11th annual RAGS (Rotary Auction Garage Sale) Saturday.
— image credit: Rachel Brant/staff photo

t Thousands turn out for 11th annual RAGS event.

Television sets for $25 and a four-person couch for $20.

Garage sale fanatics hit the jackpot at Saturday’s Rotary event.

The 11th annual Rotary Auction Garage Sale, or RAGS, drew thousands to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion this weekend. The highly anticipated one-day event is one of the largest garage sales in the county.

Bremerton Noon, East Bremerton, South Kitsap, Silverdale Noon and Silverdale Sunrise Rotary clubs teamed up to put on the event and second-time event chairman Dick Burkey, of Bremerton Noon Rotary, said it all went well Saturday.

“It’s been good,” Burkey said.

The RAGS chairman donned a colorful wig so he could be easily spotted in the crowd of thousands at RAGS. Volunteers wore bright green shirts and could be easily picked out of the crowd as well.

Burkey said Saturday’s forecast of possible snow didn’t frighten off any RAGS-goers and since the snow never fell, the event turnout remained high throughout the day. Although rain and hail hit the county off and on Saturday, RAGS still did well, according to Burkey.

“We really lucked out,” he said.

First-time attendee Christina Kelly brought her 12-year-old son Ryan to RAGS. Kelly’s husband is with the USS John C. Stennis and is currently serving overseas in Iraq. She decided to see what RAGS had to offer Saturday.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “I wish we would have gotten here earlier.”

Kelly is a fan of garage sales and found great deals on several items at RAGS. She said she wished the event was open later than 2:30 p.m. because she would have enjoyed spending more time perusing the tables of goodies.

“There’s always a bargain,” Kelly said. “I’m always looking for a good bargain.”

RAGS typically makes between $35,000 and $45,000 annually and all the proceeds go back into the participating Rotary clubs in the form of scholarships for local students and to support other Rotary sponsored community projects. A grand total from Saturday’s event was unavailable at press time.

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

“I think it’s great that it goes back into something good,” Kelly said.

This year, about 20 students from Bremerton, Olympic, Central Kitsap and South Kitsap high schools helped out at RAGS Saturday and helped Rotarians set up for the event last week.

“Having students involved is really important and we are especially proud of our students who are committing their time,” Burkey stated in a news release. “Rotary provides a lot of support to the youth and local schools. It’s one way that Rotary promotes a stronger community.”

Several Marines and USS Emory S. Land sailors also helped sort donations last week and sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts Saturday.

Like many other RAGS attendees, Kelly said she will definitely attend next year’s Rotary event.

“We definitely will come back next year, definitely a lot earlier,” she said.

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