Junior Service League initiates inaugural sale at Bloomingdeals

Junior Service League members take a break from pricing items for their Bloomingdeals sale to ham it up for the camera. From left are Kasey Ferguson, Christy Bramblett, Katherine Caputo, Sara Oliver and Andrea May.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Junior Service League members take a break from pricing items for their Bloomingdeals sale to ham it up for the camera. From left are Kasey Ferguson, Christy Bramblett, Katherine Caputo, Sara Oliver and Andrea May.

Bargain hunters can hit the mother lode on Saturday. The Bloomingdeals “department store” opens to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 26.

This inaugural sale by the Junior Service League of Maryville will offer shoppers bargains and the opportunity to support less-fortunate children in the community.

The Bloomingdeals Spring Sale will happen from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 26, in the former offices of the Good Samaritan Clinic at 116 Chantilly Lane.

“It was the brainchild of our board retreat we had last summer,” said Amanda Stone, JSL president. “The Junior League of Knoxville does a similar event, and we’re getting pointers from them. As a group, we felt like, given the state of the economy, it was going to be good a fundraiser for us, but would also benefit the community as a whole.”

Katherine Best Caputo, co-chair of the event, said members wanted to try something new. During the past several years, the group’s main fundraising events were Breakfast With Santa and a Princess, Pirates and Pals Breakfast in the spring.

“We felt we needed to do something new and doing a sale like this is sort of a service to the community as well as a way to raise money for Toys for Blount County,” said Caputo.

Stone said items for sale will include “gently-used” clothing for men, women and children, household and kitchen items, furniture and electronics. “It’s going to be anything you can think of,” she said.

Stone said current JSL members were required to bring items and sustainer members and the public were also encouraged to donate. “We’ve been collecting for at least a couple months and storing items in a couple different storage units,” she said. “We’ve moved everything over to the sales site, and the members will continue to move, organize and price items this week.”

Caputo said the group started planning the event in summer of 2010. “We met with a person from JSL of Knoxville who talked us through the process, and we forged ahead,” she said.

Caputo said she, co-chair Kelly Holiday and vice-chairs Kyndra Brewer and Andrea May worked to organize the event. “We’ve each taken a chunk and made it happen,” she said.

“We’ve gotten a lot of stuff from sustainers, which has had the added bonus of being a great way to keep in touch with them.”

JSL sustainers are former JSL members who have finished their years with JSL and now serve in an advisory/alumni role.

Caputo said the project has highlighted the talents JSL members have. “Emily Longhurst designed a logo for us, and Kyndra Brewer got us a billboard for the week and a commercial on WBIR,” she said. “We have so many top-notch people doing so well.”

Stone thanked Dr. John Pittenger and Dr. Jerome Heiny for donating the use of the building. “It’s a great space, and it is a good location. Without their help, it would have been more difficult to do this sale. We just asked them to donate the space, and they were glad to do it,” she said. “It is vacant property they own that’s for sale. It used to be their office, and, at one point, was the Good Samaritan Clinic.”

Stone said shoppers should find it easy to browse through Bloomingdeals. “It is going to be organized kind of like a department store, which I think will make it easier to shop,” she said.

The league president said the work has been good for the group. “We’ve had fun sorting through and organizing all the items. It is interesting to sort through the randomness, plus it is another opportunity for us as a group to spend time together.”

Caputo said the project has been fun, even though there was plenty of work involved. “Because it is more of a process than our previous one-day breakfasts. I’ve gotten to know other members better,” she said. “We’re working together, whether it is while pricing or sorting, there’s fellowship involved. That’s important to a civic organization like us.”

Stone said the JSL members love the community. “We want to do our part to help people who need our help,” she said.

Proceeds from the Bloomingdeals Spring Sale will benefit Toys for Blount County, an annual toy drive that has collected Christmas gifts for Blount County’s children in need since 1972. The Junior Service League of Maryville works year round to provide toys to more than 1,400 area children in need each year. For more information, visit www.jslmaryville.org. This is the organizations second fundraiser the year. They also produce The Santa Breakfast which was presented by Foothills Bank and Trust.

The Bloomingdeals Sale will be located at 116 Chantilly Lane, the former office for Dr. John Pittenger and Dr. Jerome Heiny. It is located off East Lamar Alexander Parkway just past Hardee’s on Chantilly Lane. After turning right onto Chantilly Lane from East Lamar Alexander Parkway, the office/parking lot is on the left past the City Drug building.

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