By Nancy Gould, Hunter Army Airfield Public AffairsApril 23, 2009
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD andFORT STEWART, Ga. -- Shoppers gave up valuable hours of early morning sleep on Saturday, to look for bargains in the bright, sunny driveways scattered around installation housing areas, as well as the Hunter Credit Union and Club Stewart parking lots.
By 10 a.m., more hundreds of shoppers had visited the yard sales lots filled with booths rented by vendors. Shoppers from outside and inside the gates searched for items marked down to rock-bottom prices among the yard sales scattered throughout the housing areas.
"It's the perfect opportunity to get rid of junk," said Eli Wilson, the Tominac Fitness Center director, who, along with other Department of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation staffers, helped orchestrate the event. Wilson said the garage sale is held in conjunction with the post's clean-up campaign, and it usually yields great participation from residents.
"I'm happy with what I've sold so far," said Valarie Lopez, wife of a Soldier from the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who had raised $250 by 11 a.m.
Lopez, who participated in the 2008 Great MWR Garage Sale, said having it on post with everyone else was convenient and a great way to get rid of baby clothes. Before leaving for the day, Lopez planned to replace those clothes with other inexpensive clothing for her one-year-old baby and her two older children.
Marcia Steele, the Hunter community mayor program coordinator, worked diligently to get Hunter residents and her civilian friends involved.
"This is a great way to for our community to come together," said Steele. "Twelve bingo players showed up and 20 of my friends from the Second Arnold Baptist Church. I think we have better participation this time than we did at the last MWR garage sale we had in September."
Wilson said the DFMWR staff does everything possible to make the event something that helps out the military community. They give gate guards strip maps to give out that show the location of the participating houses. Identifying those locations is the primary reason residents are required to register, according to Wilson. Booths at the credit union lot could also be rented for a $5 registration fee.
"I paid $5 to register for this booth and have made about $100 so far," said Gale Neal, a retired service member who decided to participate after she saw a flyer about the event in the Hunter commissary. "This is a great way to make a little money and spend a beautiful day outside."