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Oakland Museum’s White Elephant sale gets a preview

on February 1, 2011

Early morning rain didn’t stop thousands of people from swarming into a 96,000-square-foot warehouse for the annual preview of the White Elephant Sale, benefiting the Oakland Museum of California. Bargain-hunters scoured the donated goods–from bundles of utensils and slightly charred frying pans to vintage jewelry and ‘80s-style clothing–that were separated into 17 departments. Sunday’s sale was a preview day for early birds who wanted to snag the best items before the official two-day sale that starts on March 5. The preview sale was open to the public, but admission was only for shoppers who purchased a ticket to the event–$15 in advance or $20 at the door.

The White Elephant Sale was started 52 years ago by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, a nonprofit organization that helps curb the museum’s costs associated with exhibitions and educational programs, said board member Judi McKee.

“It is the quintessential recycling-reuse sort of event,” said Lori Fogarty, the executive director of the Oakland Museum of California. “Last year it raised $1.4 million, so it’s been one of the most important fundraisers for the Oakland museum, ever.”

The White Elephant Sale will be a two-day event starting on March 5 and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The warehouse is located at 333 Lancaster Street in Oakland and admission is free and open to the public. Donations are still being accepted for the March sale and locations and times are listed on the website.

Correction 2/2/11: It was previously stated that donations were no longer being accepted. That has been corrected to reflect that the public can still make donations for the March sale until Feb. 26. We apologize for the error.


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