One came seeking merchandise for an online business. Another was in search of an anniversary gift. And several others were hoping to walk away with true bargains.
These were just some of the attendees at the July 18 auction at Friends of Disabled Adults & Children’s (FODAC) warehouse facility on Lewis Road in Stone Mountain. FODAC operates a thrift store at the location and needed to auction items to make room for other donations.
The charity “provides $9 million each year in equipment and services to the community at little or no cost to the recipients,” according to its brochure.
The auction included new items still in boxes—many in bulk—and gently as well as much-used items, including televisions, charm bracelets, a rocking chair, mirrors, a wooden trunk, plastic water bottles, hand-painted ornaments and wine glasses.
No one was more joyous at outbidding the competition than Stone Mountain resident Carolyn Stokes, who shouted and gave a victorious fist pump after securing a three coveted pieces. Stokes, who is celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary with husband Mike in November, is redoing their bedroom. She said she found a bedroom set at a furniture store but the dresser was $600. Stokes said the vintage wood dresser she purchased at FODAC would be stained and its knobs changed and would go along perfectly with the other pieces she planned to buy from the furniture store. In all, Stokes paid $270 for a wooden bench, bookshelf and dresser at the auction.
Asked how he felt about his wife’s winning bids, Mike Stokes shrugged and said, “I’m just the moving man.”
Pat Ethridge of Conyers, a FODAC volunteer, was thrilled that she got a child’s bed resembling a racing car for $45 for her 3-year-old grandson.
Winston Campbell of Decatur picked up a Wurlitzer organ for $25 for his grandchildren.
Several people used their cellphones prior to the start of the auction to consult with others about potential purchases.
“OK, well I am not going to bid on it,” said one woman while on her cellphone. “If you are not sure, I don’t want to have something you don’t want.”
A Lawrenceville resident named Dave, who wouldn’t give his last name, meticulously checked stacks of boxes and told someone over the phone about the contents.
“These are adorable,” he said.
Dave, who ended up the winning bidder for several lots of goods, said he was seeking items to sell online and that he came to the event because FODAC has “quality merchandise.”
Scott Schwartz, a member of FODAC’s board of directors and a professional auctioneer, moved the proceedings along swiftly with his rapid-fire vocal delivery, occasionally throwing in a salesman’s pitch or humorous comment.
Some items didn’t garner any interest. The auctioneer practically begged those holding bid cards to offer $10 for a sofa/loveseat/chair set in a “flower power” fabric—no takers. And no one offered even one dollar for a rather battered entertainment center and coffee table.
However, there was fierce bidding that did play out for some items. Boxes of green Christmas tree soaps started at $5 but quickly escalated in $5 and $10 increments in a bidding war among three or four individuals. The bidding topped out at $70.
The final tally for FODAC at the end of the auction was $2,300 with the warehouse cleared of 130 televisions, two organs, 10 pallets of boxed new items and more.
Pam Holley, director of administration for FODAC, said the organization has been flooded with donations and the auction helped to make room in the warehouse and thrift store for new items. She also said the event was intended to help increase awareness of the charity’s efforts and attract new customers to the store.