From trash to treasure

Brecksville’s annual citywide garage sale gives shoppers another opportunity to score the find of a lifetime

by Martin McConnell

Brecksville’s annual city-wide garage sale was a hit once again this year, with over 40 listed participants around the city. This year’s selection ranged from miscellaneous items, to vinyl records and video games, to patio and bar items from Creekside Restaurant.

No two garage sales are alike, and some are simply using their garage space as a fundraiser for other causes. David and Cheryl Storgard at 9456 Sherwood Trail, advertised over 1000 DVDs, along with a selection of vinyl records and video games at their garage sale, for the benefit of Case Western Reserve University.

“Last year we brought [CWRU’s] DVDs and we sold $700 worth, so we thought, we’re going to do it again,” Cheryl said. “We go down to the warehouse every so often and sort records, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks. It all goes back to the college.”

The Storgards have been involved with the garage sale for Case Western’s benefit both this year and last year, and have been involved with the sale in general for nearly a decade. In addition, they foster kittens for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Alisa Vitantonio at 8525 Timber Trail offered shoppers a wide selection of both elementary school desks and flat screen televisions. For Vitantonio, the garage sale was simply a way to make a little cash while cleaning out the house, and not letting anything go to waste.

“We just had [the desks] growing up, so it was time to get rid of them,” Vitantonio said. “My kids are too big now and nobody uses them. I do not have any problem with getting rid of any of this stuff. It was just time.”

Vitantonio’s mother was able to use her daughter’s house as a hub for her garage sale items as well. Although most of the selection being sold was Alisa’s, she noted that it was really her mother who was behind the operation that morning.

Perhaps the most intriguing selection at this year’s city-wide garage sale belonged to Anna Lang at 9472 Greystone Pkwy. Although he did not attend the garage sale in person, Lang’s brother supplied a massive selection of Halloween masks and decorations.

“My brother made this,” Lang said, showing off a collection of hand-painted skeletons and a convincing novelty severed hand. “He painted them, as you can see. … He even has fogging liquid for a fog machine.”

This was Lang’s first year participating in the garage sale, and much of the house’s appeal was from the collection of Halloween masks sitting on the front lawn. As a new player in the garage sale game running one of the most popular locations in town, it can be a bit overwhelming.

“This is my first year. My friend Ruth Anne did it a couple weeks ago,” Lang said. “We’re literally like newbies. I think that if we had a lot of stuff, [we would do it again], but otherwise, not so much.”

Neighboring Broadview Heights plans to host its annual citywide garage sale Sept. 8-10, giving area shoppers another chance to score big. ∞

Photo: Brecksville’s annual garage sale gave shoppers the opportunity to look for bargains as well as collectors’ items. Photo by M. McConnell