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A collectible collection

Resident-driven effort benefits those in need

Created date

June 5th, 2015
Ashby Ponds residents
Ashby Ponds residents

Downsizing is an inevitable task for those moving to , an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. Personal Moving Consultant Elizabeth McCumiskey is an invaluable resource to new residents during this process. She helps set up estate sales and locate additional outlets for selling and/or donating furniture and clothing. 

“The most difficult items for people to part with are their precious collectibles,” says McCumiskey. “Thankfully, a group of Ashby Ponds community members recently began a collection for a Collectibles Corner at our annual holiday bazaar. The proceeds from the sale of the collectibles, as well as from the bazaar itself, will go to support our benevolent care fund.” Ashby Ponds is a not-for-profit community dedicated to supporting residents who experience an unforeseen change in financial situation for reasons beyond their control. The Home for Life Commitment provides several options for residents to protect their future. The Residence and Care Agreement has all the details. 

The bazaar is open to residents and guests from the outside community, antiques dealers, and collectors. 

“There is tremendous joy in knowing that the items you have treasured for years will continue to be treasured while supporting others in need,” says Nancy Eisenbise, who leads the Collectibles Corner effort.

“I’ve already brought back numerous boxes from my home visits,” says McCumiskey. “Our future residents are delighted to know that the money earned will support their fellow residents.”

Dedicated quartet

With more than 40 years of experience organizing a variety of bazaars, Nancy enlisted the help of three of her neighbors—Martina McKewen, Kathleen Reynolds, and Dee Collins—to coordinate Collectibles Corner.

“I’m happy to help,” says Martina, who previously worked on the annual bazaar at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore.

Collectibles Corner will provide an outlet for upscale items that will be sold at substantially discounted prices at this year’s holiday bazaar on Saturday, November 14.

“We carefully screen donations and only accept items that are considered collectibles,” says Nancy. 

The women began accepting donations in early January and will continue to do so until a few weeks prior to the event. Kathleen is responsible for researching each item received on eBay and other resale websites to determine an item’s worth. 

“With that price in mind, we set our price, which is always greatly reduced from what a buyer can find online,” she says.

To date, the women have received donations of Haviland/Limoges china, Golden Memories figurines (a less expensive and rare line from Lladro), as well as excellent-condition Life magazines from the 1940s.

Reaching out

The key to success for Collectibles Corner will be generating interest from serious buyers. Currently, the women are reaching out to local antiques dealers with a catalogue of their inventory.

“Our hope in visiting the antique dealers, leaving them information about our bazaar, and extending personal invitations to attend is to expand our outreach and make our sale as successful as it can be,” says Dee.

To help get the word out regarding donations, McCumiskey has created a brochure for all prospective residents, detailing the efforts of the Collectibles Corner fundraiser.

The Ashby Ponds resident-run Treasure Chest, which also raises money for the benevolent care fund is doing their part to help. The group collects everyday items, such as household goods and furniture, for a bimonthly resale. They direct anyone with a collectible donation to Nancy and her team.

“They have been extremely helpful with our efforts,” says Nancy. 

In addition to raising money at this year’s sale, the women also hope to build a reputation as a solid outlet for unique collectibles, ensuring profits for years to come.

“I have been an antiques shopper and collector for years,” says Dee. “Part of the fun is the search and discovering something that is just perfect. We hope many bazaar shoppers will find just the right thing.