SHEPHERDSTOWN – One weekend each August, Shepherdstown resident Kathryn Burns transforms her retail space, The Bridge Gallery, from an art gallery into an art bazaar, with help from residents of the community, who give of their time and “art” for sale in the August Art Bazaar.
According to Burns, the event has been held every year since she bought the company about 15 years ago.
“We were mostly outdoors for the past two years, but we made it!” Burns, regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the event. “We managed to maintain it.”
Burns noted that the bazaar’s success was “not really” affected by the pandemic, although the pandemic has impacted fundraising in another, less expected way this year.
“This year we really have a lot [to sell]. During the pandemic, a lot of people were emptying their garages and emptying their homes, so they had more to give when the mess came this year,” Burns said, noting that the items donated included artwork, art supplies, antiques, rugs, books, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. “People have been so generous! It was wonderful.
This year, the August Art Bazaar was held last weekend, with good participation from the local community.
“Our first day has already been very busy” Burns said. “We probably sold about half of what we already had!”
Proceeds from this year’s sale were donated to the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, which will also receive lesser value items that did not sell in the bazaar.
“What happens is what’s left after that, some of them I’ll save for next year and then the rest will go to an indoor garage sale for AWS in Charles Town in September, so it’s still going for another sale”, Burns said. “High end items, original art, things I didn’t want to see cost a buck or two…best bits I’ll try to save for next year.
Rich Clawson and Janet Bailey were the two board members representing the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County at the bazaar, answering questions about the 501c3 charity and assisting shoppers in need of assistance.
“The revenue from this event is different every year – last year I believe this event brought in $4,000. But there’s more than just the dollar [that we benefit from]”, said Clawson. “Dollars are always great, but recognition and letting the community know what we’re doing is just as important.”
According to Clawson, proceeds from the bazaar will be used to cover the organization’s shelter expenses and pay for spay coupons that are given to help community members pay to have their pets spayed or spayed.
“People can come in and ask for a coupon if they want to have their pets spayed or neutered. They take the coupon to their vet, and the vet will submit the coupon to us, upon payment,” Clawson said of the program. “Everything that is collected today goes straight to our funds to care for the animals. There are no administrative fees added to this – everything 100% benefits the animals of Jefferson County.