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A vendor is all smiles at the Wilson Senior Center Rummage Sale. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Friday, August 23, 2019

By Chris Frost



Oxnard—The Wilson Senior Center parking lot was transformed into a shopper’s paradise, Aug. 17, as the 9th Annual Rummage sale brought out lots of people looking to clean out their closets, and at the same time, raise money for supplies used by seniors.


Sellers filled the parking lot with exceptional deals for smart shoppers, who left with armloads of treasures.


Rummage Sale Founder Desire Ventura greeted people as they arrived and said astute shoppers were walking away with bargains.


“Especially for people coming and buying the music over there from the 1960s and ’70s,” she said. 


Each person sells their goods, she said, and the senior center sells the spots and takes that money.


“Everybody pays $25 for one spot, $30 for two spots and $40 for three spots,” she said. “I got this started for some selfish reasons.  When I was talking to the seniors, we were all talking about what a struggle it can be to get rid of the stuff you’ve accumulated. I thought let’s have a yard sale, and the first year we came out we had to truck all the stuff home.”


The following year, she thought ahead and asked a local rescue mission to send a truck towards the end of the sale, so leftover items go towards the rescue mission.


“They don’t have to, but a lot of them do because they don’t want to take the stuff home,” she said. 


She doesn’t plan to shop, but Ventura stays active throughout the day.


“I walk around every 20 minutes to make sure everyone is doing okay,” she said. 


With that said, she admitted to purchasing within the first 10 minutes after she arrived.


“I bought a little chair for my granddaughter,” she said. “I love visiting with the community, talking to them, and seeing people I haven’t seen for a long time.”


The money helps the seniors at the centers directly and goes toward much-needed supplies.


“It could be Bingo prizes; it could be for our annual Christmas party, to offset some of the prices, so we don’t have to charge huge amounts for them to get in,” she said.


Recreation Supervisor Renee Rakestraw is proud to be out supporting the seniors, and she bought a couple of spots filled with goodies.


“I’m cleaning out the house,” she said. “We have our Orcas (Oxnard Recreation Centers for Adults and Seniors) group out here raising money for a new senior center. They’re a group that started as three commissioners; they formed a subcommittee and headed up efforts and fundraising to open a new senior center.”


She loves the service aspect of the work and giving back to the community.


“I like to see everyone socialize and have an opportunity to engage,” she said. 


She has not walked the section and stayed in her area.


“It’s all about cleaning out, not taking home,” she said. “There are some gems that people who walk by they say they grabbed.”


 Clark Owens from Orcas said the seniors need a new state of the art center, so they took matters into their own hands and started raising money.


“We’re growing an older population, and we need to have facilities that will accommodate them,” he said. “All our items came from volunteers who are part of the organization and a few other people who heard about our efforts. We’re looking for the opportunity to serve more meals and provide services for the seniors. Someplace they can come, relax and have facilities that meet them with their needs.”


He loves meeting all the people and raising money for the seniors.


“We’re having a lot of fun,” he said. “We are looking for volunteers to establish sub-committees.”


The group is fun-loving, he said, but also work hard.


“We’re working with conceptual designs, so it’s a broad-based working organization,” he said. 


For more information about the Wilson Senior Center and the Orcas, stop by at 350 North C Street.

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