Darien Boy Scout tag sale sees huge crowd
Published 1:45 pm, Thursday, May 5, 2011
The annual Boy Scout tag sale is always a blockbuster event and this year was no exception. Thousands flocked to the Scout cabin to see what was for sale.
David Rucquoi, tag sale chairman, has been in charge of the outing for the past two years and he said this year was very successful, partly due to the expertise of the parents and Scouts and the ability for people to handle their assigned tasks.
"I've run the sale for the last two years and the tames operates really well on its own," Rucquoi said. "Every year we say we should start planning earlier but we really get going in January."
One of the challenges associated with hosting the tag sale is making sure there are enough people to handle the myriad jobs necessary for the event.
Once enough volunteers are locked down to staff the sale, the scouts begin a publicity campaign to get the word out.
"We do a bunch of news releases and we have a presale party," Rucquoi said. "After that we started collecting items and the tents get set up."
The annual tag sale serves numerous purposes within the community. It is first and foremost a major contributor to the coffers of the Boy Scouts and it gives people a chance to donate items their families can no longer use.
This year's sale drew a crowd of more than 2,000 people, Rucquoi said.
"We have 14 nonprofits who come to look through the leftovers to see if there is anything they can use," he said. "We also send a bunch of computers to Guatemala that are refurbished. We try to recycle as much as we can."
Even though the tag sale brings in numerous items, Rucquoi said he has seen a decrease in the amount of donations. However, each year more and more people are showing up to purchase items.
"There seems to be an increase in the number of people who come and that could be due to the lag in the economy," Rucquoi said. "Last year we saw a drop in the numbers of bikes and this year we saw a spike in sports equipment."
Sports gear continues to be a popular item to donate over the years, and Rucquoi said this year he saw more karate and lacrosse equipment as well as golf clubs.
"Almost all of the golf clubs that were for sale were purchased," he said. "It's a situation where you buy something new and then the kids outgrow it after a few years and the items are still pretty new."
Rucquoi said he likes it when he sees an item like a bike that was purchased during the sale in prior years and then is given back for someone else to enjoy.
"I see parents dropping off things and sentimentally saying how they couldn't believe their kid doesn't play with that item anymore. I also see elderly people who drop off items they can't use anymore," Rucquoi said. "The lives that touch this stuff is amazing."
One of the other benefits of the tag sale is it allows people from the surrounding towns to come in and purchase items they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.
"It's really amazing the human element that goes during the sale," he said.
Items the Boy Scouts aren't familiar with always make an appearance at the tag sale and Rucquoi said it is always fun to be able to explain what the item is and how it works.
"It's always joy for the Scouts and families to be a part of the sale," Rucquoi said.