Mae Takahashi-Betty Santoki

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - February 11, 2009
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With the economy still floundering, many people may feel it’s time to tighten their purse strings - which is why the fourth annual “Not Your Ordinary Garage Sale” is the perfect excuse to spend a little but still take home a lot.

The idea came about when the new officers of the World Wings International Hawaii chapter were discussing their first fundraiser in 2006.

“Our goal in selecting a fundraiser was a project that would involve everyone working together in a spirit of camaraderie and just having fun, reminiscent of our Pan Am flying days,” says chapter president Mae Takahashi. When one member suggested throwing a huge garage sale filled with all the treasures the former flight attendants had picked up during their travels, the vote was unanimous.

Takahashi explains that the club’s connection to St. Francis goes back nearly two decades. In 1990, the family of one World Wings member needed hospice services. After seeing the support provided to both terminally ill patients and their loved ones, it was suggested St. Francis be the chapter’s local beneficiary, in addition to CARE International.


The organization’s 2008 garage sale saw $10,000 from proceeds go directly to the hospice, adding to the $47,000 World Wings Hawaii has generated through wine tastings, fashion shows and other community events. And with the addition of the “International Boutique” this year, the 75-plus members hope to see that number go up.

“Last year, the Pan Am memorabilia was a tremendous draw, and we wanted to emphasize something different this year. There are dolls from Korea and Ecuador, jade from Burma, sheepskin rugs from Australia, as well as items from the Philippines, London, Switzerland, France, Amsterdam and Brazil. By the day of the garage sale, I’m sure there will be more finds,” says Hawaii chapter vice president Betty Santoki (pictured above right displaying some exotic finds with Mae Takahashi, left, and Hattie Kanda). More everyday items on sale include clothing for men, women and children, household and kitchen items, jewelry, toys, books, CDs, DVDs and other miscellaneous things.

“We thought, why not clean out our closets and at the same time help the economy during this downturn by sharing these international items at our garage sale at bargain prices to benefit St. Francis Hospice,” Santoki adds with a smile.

The “Not Your Ordinary Garage Sale” is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Noelani Elementary School cafeteria in Manoa. Only cash will be accepted, with proceeds benefitting renovations of the Sister Maureen Keleher and Maurice J. Sullivan Family Hospice inpatient centers. Call 354-3845 for more information.

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