Bexley News

Goodwill, Junior League join forces to save event

Formerly hosted at Vets Memorial, league's Bargain Box sale moves to Goodwill's Grandview HQ this year

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A longstanding Columbus area tradition will continue, thanks to a partnership between the Junior League of Columbus and Goodwill Columbus.

Goodwill will host the Junior League's Bargain Box event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 4 at its headquarters at 1331 Edgehill Road in Grandview Heights.

The Bargain Box is a one-day sale of donated items that for 65 years was held at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in downtown Columbus.

In March, the Junior League announced that the pending demolition of Veterans Memorial would mean the end of the Bargain Box event.

"We had considered other locations, but they were either too small to hold our event or there was a problem with the location," said Leanne Colton, marketing and operations chairwoman for the Junior League.

"We needed to find a location that was convenient to a bus line," she said. "Goodwill Columbus was the perfect fit for us. It is big enough to host our event and their location is in close proximity to bus lines on West Fifth and West Third avenues."

Goodwill Columbus President and CEO Margie Pizzuti said the partnership of the two nonprofit organizations is "symbiotic" since both are involved in selling gently used items to support their operations.

"It broke my heart when I read that the Bargain Box event was going to end," Pizzuti said. "I said to myself, there must be a way that we can bring our two organizations together to keep this wonderful tradition going."

Goodwill's headquarters has about 100,000 square feet of space in its first floor -- plenty of space to accommodate the Bargain Box sale, she said.

The two organizations began discussions in late March and the final agreement was announced at the Junior League's annual dinner last month, Colton said.

"It made it a very celebratory banquet," she said.

For the Bargain Box event, the Junior League accepts donations of "just about everything," Colton said, including men's, women's and children's clothing and outerwear, baby clothing and gear, electronics, furniture, home decor, home-improvement items, toys, sporting goods, kitchen items, linens and towels.

Donated items can be dropped off at any of Goodwill's retail stores in Franklin County.

The store locations are:

* 6665 Sawmill Road, Dublin.

* 358 S. Hamilton Road, Gahanna.

* 3608 Main St., Hilliard.

* 2550 N. High St. in the North Campus area.

* 2933 Morse Road in the Northland area.

* 52 Robinwood Ave., Whitehall.

"This will be much more convenient for people who want to donate items for the Bargain Box sale, because our retail stores are open daily," Pizzuti said.

Items identified as being for the Bargain Box will be stored separately from Goodwill's merchandise, she said.

Any goods not sold at the Bargain Box event will be turned over to Goodwill for sale in its retail stores, Pizzuti said.

The Junior League uses proceeds from the Bargain Box to support its projects, including the Kelton House Museum and Garden, Adopt-a-Backpack for Children and Kids in the Kitchen.

"We're so excited that with our partnership with Goodwill Columbus, we are going to be able to continue the Bargain Box event without interruption," Colton said. "It's a project that is so important to our members and the community."

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