■ STAFF REPORT
There’s nothing Boca Grande resident Jan Myers likes more than having her garage filled with “stuff.” That’s other people’s things that have been donated to the Bargain Room for the annual Strawberry Festival, sponsored by the United Methodist Women (UMW).
Although the festival is still two months away (Saturday, March 2), Jan is feeling like her cupboard is a little bare. She’s asking for the community’s help.
“Last year our garage was almost half full – and we have a very large garage,” says Jan, who co-chairs the Bargain Room with Deb Houck. “This season, items have been slow in coming, and I’m a little worried.”
Money raised from the Bargain Room and other Strawberry Festival activities goes to benefit women and children in need in Lee and Charlotte Counties. In 2018, more than $55,000 was distributed to local and international charities as a result of UMW festival.
Contributions for the Bargain Room can be dropped off at the Lighthouse Methodist Church office at 325 West Third Street on Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Or call Jan at 964-0562 to arrange for a delivery to her garage. Please no electronic or Christmas items.
Now is not too soon to clean out your closets and hand off your “stuff” to Jan and Deb. They like to get an early start sorting and marking items. It makes for easier shopping, they say.
Jan is no stranger to charitable activities on the island. Her garage served as a storage area for the Boca Bargains for more years than she can remember. She also owned the island antique and gift shop, Changing Tides, for many years.
“My husband has been a good sport about all the things that end up in our garage – as long as he has access to his workbench,” Jan says, admitting that is not always the case.
Jan is also a major contributor to the festival’s famed strawberry shortcake. Last year, she made more than 800 delicious cakes and has signed up for a similar amount for 2019. The strawberry shortcakes always go fast – just like the good “stuff” in the Bargain Room.