Communitywide Garage Sale is a shopper’s paradise

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KENILWORTH, NJ — It was a sales extravaganza on the weekend of Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, when the Kenilworth Historical Society sponsored the annual Communitywide Garage Sale as a service to the borough.

Nearly 70 homes were registered participants and were included in a Kenilworth Communitywide Garage Sale listing and map which was available, free of charge, at the Kenilworth ACME Customer Service desk, the borough Clerk’s Office, the Kenilworth Public Library and at Love You More Flowers. The listing was also posted on the borough’s website. Other homes participated and registered after the publication of the listing. There are typically approximately 200 homes that wind up taking part in this event.

A $12 registration fee is collected from each home that takes part in the garage sale. Proceeds, after advertising and other related expenses are paid, go to benefit the Oswald J. Nitschke House living museum and cultural arts center, helping to defray operating expenses, including the cost of an elevator that makes the site fully accessible to everyone.

Whether they were selling or buying something, everyone who took part in Kenilworth’s Communitywide Garage Sale had different reasons for being there and a story to tell.

Karen Zimmerman said she participates in the garage sale every year and believes the event brings a sense of community. “You meet a lot of people along the way, friendly for the most part,” she said. Zimmerman is successful in sales and donates what she doesn’t sell. Through the years, the amount of people who purchase her items varied. She said that, on a good year, she’d get 300 or 350 people buying from her.

Christine DaSilva recently moved to Kenilworth from Newark and this was her first garage sale. Items she was selling included clothes, crystal, houseware, kitchen items and collectibles. “I enjoy participating in what the town has to offer,” she said. “I’m only here four months and I’m so comfortable. I have great neighbors. This event definitely brings a sense of community.”

Ron Silverman, a retired resident of Springfield, said, “This is my thing — garage sales.” He was looking for all types of finds, such as gold earrings, an orphan necklace that’s twisted, real gold, sterling silver flatware, ham radio, CB radio and Grateful Dead memorabilia.

Ron VanBlarkom, of Kenilworth, was looking for antiques. “Anything older than I am,” he said jokingly. “Every now and then, something pops out.” The Kenilworth Garage Sale is a good way to “make a day of it,” for VanBlarkom.

Carol Iversen, of Cranford, was seeking “odd treasures” and said, “I hope everyone has a good time and makes a lot of sales.” She likes to go to the Kenilworth Garage Sale because it’s near where she lives. “Everybody goes,” she said enthusiastically.

Jose Yerovi, of Roselle Park, said he was looking for stuff he could resell at the Englishtown Flea Market. He specializes in tools and shared that he makes more than $1,000 in a day.

Pam Novak and Lisa Anerella, both from Roselle, came to Kenilworth to look for a bargain. Novak said, “I have grandkids coming over. I got great Barbie sets. I got some good stuff from the Nitschke House — candles, soap sets. We did good there.”

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