From October 2010 "Tips & Tales" Sunny Treasures Pervades Our Campus

Soon after I volunteered to help with publicity for Sunny Treasures, I wondered how this group attracted so much talent and served so many needs. Independence Day was approaching with enthusiastic obeisance to our Founding Fathers. Such is the prankster in me to wonder if Sunny Treasures might have a passel of Founding Mothers.

To my joy, I found there were scores of Founding Mothers and a respectable number of Founding Fathers. I now realized that I needed some of the Founding Mothers to tell me the problems met by this daunting group. Mary Bradshaw volunteered to help me with chronicling the history of Sunny Treasures.

The finished gift shop was colorful, inviting and packed with hundreds of “goodies.” Handmade artifacts made by residents such as sweaters, scarves, pocketbooks, and artwork from landscapes to pottery. The creativity of Sunny Treasures is a continuum from its beginning through today and into the future.

The Christmas Gift Shop, open during the Apple Butter Festival, is a year-round adventure. The day after the Festival, the volunteer residents resume solicitation of donated treasures, including, for example, childhood collections, fine pieces of porcelain and china, brass objects, baskets (old ones can be exceptionally valuable), tools, hobby items and occasionally something we can’t identify.

One of our largest groups of friends is the hundreds of residents who regularly donate the steady flow of gifts you buy for friends, family and for yourself. To present these items attractively requires a wide variety of skills and experience: shopkeepers, business persons, artists of all kinds and specialists to evaluate and price rare, unusual and high-value items.

There are a dozen reasons why you should visit Sunny Treasures often (open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There are unbelievable bargains every day, helpful staff who are also fun to chat with and movie DVDs that rent for $1.00 for a full week. There are furniture sales as often as we have accumulated enough items. As part of the Apple Butter Festival, we also have a bake sale, special seasonal gifts, a book and CD sales.

The biggest benefit of all within Sunny Treasures is the opportunity to make friends with the continuing stream of talented and interesting residents while serving as a volunteer in our gift shop. We all know the fun of reaching out to make new friends. Serving in the gift shop is a rewarding experience.

--Frank Barch

Nine years after the above was written Sunny Treasures is still going strong, operating entirely by volunteers with items donated by residents. The Apple Butter Festival was dropped two years ago and replaced this year by the Festival of Trees. The Annual Christmas Sale will be held this year from Nov. 20-22 in the Wellness Center Fitness Studio. Meanwhile, volunteers are always needed to collect and appraise donated items and help out in the Gift Shop or with the monthly furniture sales. Regular hours at the Gift Shop are still from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. All proceeds from Sunny Treasures are used to support resident activities at Sunnyside and the Fellowship Fund.

--Galen Moses