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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Curio Cottage Tag Sale Draws Bargain Hunters for a Good Cause

 Curio Cottage Tag Sale Draws Bargain Hunters for a Good Cause
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Westport News)

Westport, CT – Though the tag sale hadn’t even officially begun, there was already a crowd combing through the bric-a-brac and seeking out good buys.

Westport Woman’s Club’s annual Curio Cottage Tag Sale launched Friday morning in the Club’s auditorium, offering hundreds of items from home décor to artwork, with 100% of the revenue to benefit Fairfield County charities. The sale was scheduled to run both Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10, from 10am to 3pm, at the 50 Imperial Avenue facility.

“We’ve conducted this sale for the past 11 years,” said Karen Eickhoff, chairman of the Curio Cottage Thrift Shop, a small structure open year-round on the WWC property. “We made $66 the first year, with items spread out on drop cloths in the parking lot. The shop had only been open a year then.”

Since, the sale has grown in size, popularity and fundraising. “Before the doors even opened this morning, we’d sold $2,000 worth of merchandise,” Eickhoff said.

Among the items on display were two elegant Oriental rugs, maritime-themed bed headboards, mirrors, lamps, chairs, kitchen items, housewares, linens, toys and small appliances. “Basically everything but clothing,” Eickhoff added.

Over 35 charities and organizations benefit from both the tag sale and sales at Curio Cottage throughout the year. These groups include CancerCare for Kids Program, Center for Women & Families, Homes with Hope and Mercy Learning Center.

“All items for sale have been donated to us and are either new or slightly used,” said Audrey Rabinowitz, a past WWC president and now a volunteer in the Cottage. “And all the staff at the Cottage and sale are volunteers and members of the WWC.”

The WWC’s Community Services Committee handles the distribution of monies raised. “Our funding helps meet the basic needs of people served by the various charitable agencies, from Norwalk through Bridgeport,” Rabinowitz said. “This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year.”

“While driving fundraising,” said Eickhoff, “the sale reminds people that the Cottage is here all year. We try to catch people at the start of the spring tag sale season – they’re chomping at the bit. And by having the sale indoors, we’re not restricted by inclement weather.”

Westporter Caroline Evans was one of the many locals that had reported to the sale even before it had opened. “My mom and I love this sale and supporting this cause. I always find items of interest, at good prices,” she said.

Rowayton resident Kathy Dobbins said she discovered the sale last year and thought it was great. Like Evans, she said, “I liked the charitable cause behind it. This year I came back with two friends.”

Michael Zieff, a Bridgeport-based artist, said of the sale, “This is a great place to find treasures. It’s a hidden secret, given a Friday start. I bought a lot of stuff here last year as I’d just relocated back to Connecticut. When you see something you like, you have to grab it or it goes.”

For more information about the Tag Sale and Curio Cottage, visit

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