Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church Women may not be having the fall festival that’s been a church staple for more years than the women can remember, but even a pandemic will not deter them from raising money to support charities which need funding now more than ever. Instead, Tuckaleechee UMW is holding a rummage sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the church in Townsend.

Tuckaleechee UMW president Vickie Mueller said, “Every year in October we have our annual fall festival where we raise the majority of our funds to support our charities, but because of the covid restrictions, we were not allowed to do that this year. The (Smoky Mountain) District did allow us to have a rummage sale, so we thought, ‘OK, that’s one way we can raise funds for these charities that are suffering so much.”

Treasures and more

Mueller said, “In addition to our treasures and rummage items that we’ll have for sale, some of our ladies who make homemade jams, jellies, apple butter, bean soup mix, pickles, etc., will also have these for sale. We were given the OK to do this since these are not recently cooked items, they are secured in jars.”

If you want to purchase the homemade items, get to the sale early. These will sell out quickly, Mueller said.

A special treasure will also be available: A new cookbook, “The Quiet Side … Chef,” to benefit Townsend’s Volunteer Fire Department. “We learned that a group in Townsend had put together this cookbook to support the fire department, and they asked if we could sell the cookbook at the rummage sale,” Mueller said. “We gladly said yes. Our minister is a volunteer firefighter and we support our firefighters any way we can. The cost of putting the cookbook together was supported by a private individual.”

The cookbook will sell for $15, all of which will go to the fire department. Tuckaleechee UMC member Jan Whitt had the idea for the cookbook and collected the recipes from local residents.

The rummage sale will feature an eclectic mix of items. “Some are quite unique,” Mueller said. These include some antiques; items donated from the home of former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist and his wife, Martha; small furniture; home décor; crafts; toys; etc. No clothing will be offered.

The sale will be held in the church’s assembly hall and potentially will be extended under a tent outdoors depending on the number of donations for the sale.

COVID-19 restrictions will be observed for the safely of all.

“We will have masks and hand sanitizer on hand and disposable gloves for visitors who would like to use them,” Mueller said. “We do ask them to wear masks when they are in the assembly room. That’s not our decision, that’s a district-wide rule we have to follow in order to have it inside. It will be as safe as we can possibly make it. … We won’t be allowed to have a large crowd at one time and we may have to stagger them.”

Donations welcome

Donations of more rummage sale items are welcome. The Tuckaleechee UMW will accept appropriate donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at the church. No clothing will be accepted.

“We wouldn’t mind having some more small furniture pieces,” Mueller said. “Large ones are too difficult to deal with if they don’t sell. Otherwise, there’s nothing in particular we’re looking for. We have a pretty wide variety right now but we could still use more.

“I think this will be a really good rummage sale,” she added. “Items will be priced to sell — there will be some good bargains.”

Funds from this and other UMW fundraisers, after expenses are paid, are used for mission projects. Local missions include the Wesley Foundation and Wesley House, Haven House, Pregnancy Resource Center, Habitat for Humanity, Wears Valley Ranch, Wesley Woods, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Holston Home for Children and Susannah’s House. National and international missions such as Samaritan’s Purse and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) are also supported.

“We’re all God’s children,” Mueller said. “We’ve got to help each other. So many organizations have not been able to have fundraisers this year, including us, and we felt like we have to act, we have to devise some way to raise these funds to support these charities.”

Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church is located at 7322 Old Tuckaleechee Road, Townsend. Richard Rudesill serves as pastor.

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