Thrift Shop Opens its Doors to the Community

02-28-2006

An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony recently celebrated the launching of Berlin’s newest bargain hunters’ paradise, the Atlantic General Hospital Thrift Shop.

Located in the Berlin Shopping Center near Save-A-Lot, the thrift shop accepts gently used clothing and household items and sells them at deep discounts. Anyone is welcome, from shoppers looking for a real bargain to those who are unable to buy clothes at regular price.

“We’re filling a real need in the community,” said B.J. Cohen of the Atlantic General Hospital Auxiliary, who is co-chair of the committee in charge of the thrift store. “We’re providing such nice things and at really low prices that everyone can afford.”

“I love working here and helping out the customers,” said Grace Smearman a volunteer and board member for the thrift shop, “Everyone who has come in has been so nice. I remember in December we sold a lady a black velvet dress and a scarf for $4.00. It was going to be her Christmas outfit; just $4.00. She was so happy. And all the proceeds go to Atlantic General Hospital, so they can keep providing the healthcare services the area’s citizens need.”

The thrift shop, a dream of the hospital’s auxiliary members, took months of planning and hard work to create. The volunteers visited other thrift stores to get more ideas about what does and does not work, and began renovating one of the shopping center’s store fronts, formerly a Laundromat.

In late November 2005, a team of volunteers began to transform the old Laundromat into the boutique it is today. In December of 2005 the thrift shop began accepting donations, and by late January, they were in business.

Now, the store’s volunteer staff is busy from opening to closing, accepting donations and assisting customers with their purchases. For more information about what donations are accepted, please call the Thrift Shop at 410-629-1447. The shop is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo Caption:

1. The AGH Thrift Shop has something for everyone, including a boutique section of reasonably priced apparel.

2. An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held recently to celebrate the opening of the Atlantic General Hospital Thrift Shop located in the Berlin Shopping Center. From left: Emma Fralley, Thrift Shop board member; Marge DeNenna, Thrift Shop volunteer; Irma Molloy, Thrift Shop board member; Edna Smith, AGH volunteer; Tom Cardinale, Mayor of Berlin; Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital; Jim Mathias, Mayor of Ocean City; Tom Cetola, Worcester County Commissioner; Bennett Bozman, Maryland State Delegate; William Outten, president elect of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce.

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