Today, the sale is so big that it's now held at both Van Walleghem and Linden Meadows schools, complete with a shuttle bus for shoppers running back and forth throughout the day. Funds raised continue to support Linden Woods Community Centre, and the schools are getting in on the action too by helping to set up and run canteens.
The Linden Woods Annual Gift and Craft Sale is set for Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will go towards expanding the community centre, a place that needs to grow with its ever expanding community.
"It always amazes me that there are so many people out there creating such beautiful things," says Darlene Pyl, co-chair for the event. "All our items are original designs. Many of the crafters also do the Scattered Seeds show and/or the Christmas craft show at the Convention Centre."
There will be something for everyone and every budget, says Pyl. From affordable purchases for kids like Barbie clothes and other small items, to higher end artwork, pottery, stained glass, sculpture and jewelry. With 72 tables at Van Walleghem and 62 tables at Linden Meadows, this is no small sale.
Crafters are coming in from all over the province, northwestern Ontario and parts of the United States. Among the interesting items for sale are concrete leaves that make up bowls and planters, Oscar the lawn snowman complete with outfits to wear, and jewelry from jade to silver and beadwork.
"We are selective. We let people see the professional stuff, so they realize that if you want professional crafters with professional products, you have to pay for them. These are people who love what they do," says Pyl.
The sale has truly become a neighbourhood event, attracting about 2,000 visitors per year. The 48-passenger shuttle bus was introduced six years ago.
At each school, about 50 volunteers help out during the day. Students come out early and stay late, to set up and tear down after the event.
At Van Walleghem, money raised supports an annual trip to a space camp in Quebec. This year, the students will also be holding a cookie sale to supplement their canteen earnings.
At Linden Meadows, money raised supports an annual trip to Ottawa. In addition to the canteen, a parent bake sale will also be held.
Over the past eight years alone, the sale has raised over $35,000 for Linden Woods Community Centre.
"Our sale is the perfect place to find a gift for those who have everything," says Pyl.
PHOTO LINDA VERMETTE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS