Monterey bazaar boosts membership extras

Bazaar donation drop-off open to noon Oct. 23 at centre

Spring cleaning is usually a time of giving for Oak Bay residents who are well-versed in the act of charity.

The winner of those spoils is often the Oak Bay Seniors Activity Association for its annual fall bazaar.

“Oak Bay people know when they’re cleaning out the house to save items for us,” said Camille Wood, association president and bazaar co-ordinator.

“It’s an incredible sale, it’s really high-caliber,” agreed Lesley Cobus, Monterey co-ordinator. “Since the late ‘70s the Oak Bay community has supported this event.”

The sale fills every nook and cranny of the Monterey Centre, where activities and classes are put on hold for the day, this year Oct. 24.

“I have a team, we have 14 different booths,” Wood said. “We put everybody to work.”

Roughly 150 volunteers sort and sell everything from books and other white elephant items to the varied hand-crafted wares created by Monterey members throughout the year.

“You’re getting quality handcrafted wool socks, wool sweaters … for a fraction of the cost,” Cobus said.

Hundreds of people tend to come through the doors and peruse the items from brand new baby sweaters to second-hand books.

“It connects seniors and raises the profile of the Monterey Centre in the community,” Wood said of the event. “And one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

The sale usually raises in the range of $6,000 for the Oak Bay Seniors Activity Association and those funds go toward extras for Monterey members, from birthday cake to membership bursaries.

“Funds go to the betterment of the Monterey Centre for the benefit of members,” said Cobus, adding the current membership is around 1,900 “and growing.”

Donations must be dropped off by noon on Friday, Oct. 23 at Monterey Rec.

The annual bazaar is Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1442 Monterey Ave.