Yard Sale Raises Funds for South Pasadena Float | Rose Parade 2024

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Shoppers spend time looking through thousands of items displayed in the War Memorial Building during the yard sale May 19. Proceeds of the two-day fundraiser benefit the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float.

News provided by SPTOR

Hundreds of shoppers attended a yard sale May 19-20 at the War Memorial Building sponsored by the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee (SPTOR). Proceeds from the sale will go toward funding the city’s self-built float that rides in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Parade every January.

People were lined up in front of the building when the sale opened Friday morning, May 19.

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PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | A shopper peruses a wide variety of framed artwork.

Jewelry, books, small kitchen appliances, dishware and cookware, toys, framed art and other items filled the main room at the facility. Many were displayed on long tables, making it easy for those attending to examine everything. Clothing on racks and shoes filled the smaller ante room. Bicycles, workout equipment and furniture pieces were displayed outside to attract passersby.

Donations of sale items from community members had been accepted by volunteers at the site three days prior to the sale. SPTOR volunteers had picked up large or hard-to-deliver pieces from donors for five hours on May 18.

Janet Benjamin, decoration chair for the float, expressed appreciation to the community for supporting the event. “I thank those who donated money,” she said, “those who brought items to be sold, and those who made purchases at the sale.”

“I especially thank the volunteers who helped make the sale a success,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.” Volunteers included committee members and their friends and families, scouts and high school students.

PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Event chair Steve Fillingham and Janet Benjamin, float decoration chair, demonstrate two items for sale at the SPTOR yard sale. Surrounding them are some of the many items donated by community members for the sale.

SPTOR, a nonprofit, as well as a city committee, raises funds throughout the year to build and decorate the float. On June 17, the group will host its annual Golf Tournament at the Arroyo Seco Golf Course (contact Alan Vlacich at avlacich@gmail.com for details).

Float costs for flowers and organic materials, steel, tent rental, supplies and other expenses are annually now more than $140,000, Benjamin said. All labor is volunteer.

South Pasadena’s entry is one of six self-built floats and is the oldest of this type in the parade.

“The yard sale was definitely a community event,” said Steve Fillingham, event chair, during the sale. “It allowed SPTOR committee members to meet the public.”

PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Kim Zernik found a collectible American Girl Doll and other treasures at the SPTOR yard sale.

“I enjoy meeting the shoppers and hearing what they are looking for or what they have found,” he said. He has bought and sold antiques professionally for years, he said, so finding yard-sale treasures is of keen interest to him.

“I like to go out and pick up stuff from people,” he said at the sale, “and then see them come in to shop and buy things.”

“In addition,” he said, “It’s nice seeing the joy on somebody’s face when they’ve found something that they can’t find, or they just wouldn’t go out and buy. But here they’re getting a great deal on it, and somehow they can buy it.”

An added benefit is that the public gets to know more about the float through meeting it’s volunteers. “We recruited some kids at the sale to help on the float,” he said, “and they’re eager to volunteer to decorate next December.”

Fillingham said another sale may take place later in the year.

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | SPTOR volunteers working at the yard sale are (left to right) SPTOR committee members Steve Fillingham, event chair, Courtney Quinn, and Rob and Janet Benjamin; and Karen and Ben Ball.