By Drake the Dog
Reader Pet Columnist
Where am I taking my humans today? As the dog days of summer approach, I’m laying down a paw where:
•Most of the staff are dog parents, and they bring their fur-babies to work!
•All team members are volunteers and they have a desire to contribute to the well-being of our community.
•The sales floor and stock room boasts over 3,000 square feet.…each.
•The organization will be celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year.
•It’s often called “Sandpoint’s Hidden Treasure.”
•These folks can be seen wearing red, white and blue in the 4th of July parade every year.
•The name of this place means “strikingly out of the ordinary, a place for the sale of articles especially for charitable purposes.”
So where do dogs go when they loose a tail? A Retail Store! Paws up for Bizarre Bazaar, which is “An Upscale Resale Shop,” staffed by over ninety volunteers in Community Assistance League. The shop is located at 502 Church Street. CAL was founded 1979, and today boasts over 200 members. This place is so dog friendly! All of the aunties (and one uncle) couldn’t wait to pet me. So we started with the barkin’ pup-a-razzi pics. Everyone wanted to sit next to me. I was diggin’ the musical chairs routine ‘cause they all had TREATS, and TREATS and more TREATS!
Bizarre Bazaar’s mission is to raise money year round to support Bonner County grants and scholarship programs. In the early days, the group had a sale once a year in the Sandpoint Community Center.
Joyce Spiller and Cindy Chenault’s dream was to open a store to take advantage of donations that were stored all year. Their goal was to increase the amount of money available to fund grants year round. Last year was a standout, as $140,000 in scholarships and grants was given to Bonner County.
CAL continues to raise funds throughout the year for the Senior Center, Community Cancer Services, and Kinderhaven.
This upscale resale ‘boutique’ store is designed to fill the niche between thrift and a retail store. They take just about everything, including men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, household goods, furniture, books, dog accessories and sporting goods. Things they can’t sell they send to auction, or they pass onto other charitable organizations, hence nothing is wasted. Patty Duke’s costume jewelry has even been spotted there! There is a team of folks that research pricing guides, eBay and different websites in order to price donated articles so customers can find high-quality items and treasures at great prices. Koko Chewnel would be proud of them! Folks from CDA, Montana and even Canada make special trips to the shop to ‘see what’s new in the box.’ And gift certificates are available. All proceeds are returned to the community in the form of grants and scholarships.
CAL members take turns working the store, and some will bring their dogs. Cherie Warber’s dog, Zeke, a 2-year-old Plott hound, is still learning the ropes. Bizarre Bazaar’s founder Joyce Spiller, brings her Jack Russell, Freddie every Saturday afternoon. His job is to guard the back. Cooper, Sherry Fulton’s labradoodle, checks the inventory once a month on Wednesday afternoon to ensure everything is in its place. There is even a side driveway entrance to drop off donations during store hours. Wait, wait, wait for it…. Bizarre Bazaar has been nominated for FOUR categories in the Best of Bonner County. The finalists will be announced the week of 6/27. According to the Bark Street Journal, next year they should be nominated for the BEST DOG-FRIENDLY store! I was having so much fun, and the cookies and the people were so warm and fuzzy, I did not want to leave. I’ll be back.
Bizarre Bazaar Dog Rules:
Well behaved pooches only
You must be friendly with children
The landscaping has been watered by every dog in town, so do your part
Come on in — do not let your owners leave you in the car.
For more info call 208 -263-3400, or visit their website www.calsandpoint.com
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