Church of the Pines United Methodist Women helping others through decades-old rummage, bake saleSubmitted: 05/23/2019

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MINOCQUA - Mixed in with a sea of cakes, brownies, and muffins, Sue Loeffler thought her cookies stood out.

"Yeah, yeah, it was a real production," Loeffler said of her work.

Loeffler spent the better part of Wednesday making 91 cookies for a bake sale, which started Thursday, knowing her role was an important one in drawing a crowd.

"Us Methodist women are really good bakers, so we have this reputation in town for good food," Loeffler said.

The baked goods were popular at the American Legion hall in Minocqua, but the other element was the real bread-winner.

The Church of the Pines United Methodist Women were busy selling thousands of items at their connected rummage sale. Several dozen tables featured usual items like glassware, books, and board games.

"It helps clean out closets, but it also helps other people that can get things more economical," sale chairwoman Sue Claflin said.

The church's sale has been going on twice a year for at least 65 years. Claflin said setup takes a full day, often leading to people lined up for hours on opening night.

"It's a joy to be able to give to other people. It's a joy to work together for a purpose," Claflin said.

Trinkets, tools, and mugs were often listed for just 25 cents. Meanwhile, shoppers stuffed as much clothing as they could fit into a paper bag for just $3.

"It doesn't seem like much maybe but everything counts and it does make a difference in people's lives," Loeffler said.

Those coins and dollars add up. Past sales have generated about $2,000 each. The women put that money back into regional and local efforts like Minocqua's food pantry, Frederick Place homeless shelter in Rhinelander, and a pregnancy help group in the Lakeland area.

The women who put on the sale find rewards mixed in among all the stuff, too: the chance to thank people whose small purchases make the world a little better for us all.

"This is really what church is all about; working together and doing things to help others. It's really living our mission," Loeffler said.

The sale continues for one final day on Friday. It runs from 9 a.m. - noon. All items will be half-price and the bag sale cost will be reduced to $2.  Unsold items get donated to places like Goodwill.

The legion hall is located at 121 Front Street in Minocqua across from the post office.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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