DALLAS – Nothing can keep Jim Snyder from the annual Back Mountain Library Auction, which he describes as a festival celebrating the community.
Snyder, who began his volunteer service to the event in 1963, said he could have been on vacation this weekend, but that it wasn’t even an option.
As the 72nd annual event wrapped up on Sunday evening with a final auction, Snyder said it has served to not only make money for the library, but memories for those who attended.
Currently chairman of grounds at the event, Snyder said in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that he is helping raise money for the library, he also truly enjoys times with neighbors, some which he has not seen since last year’s auction.
“People really look forward to the auction every year,” he said. “Some start calling the library in January because they want to get it on their calendar and schedule their summer plans around it.”
Snyder’s hard work is also motivated by the money that the library makes, which is directed toward its programming.
“If we can make one more dollar for the kids then we did last year, I’ll be happy,” he said.
Many attendees, he said, are very committed to the auction, setting up chairs the night before so that they can get a good view of the items on which they will be bidding.
And the bleachers? That’s his job.
“I oversee setting up the bleachers every year,” he said, “for those who don’t bring their own chairs.”
To Snyder, now in his 70s, the event is more than an auction and a collection of vendors selling quality food and items, but a tradition.
“We gather,” he said. “We’re one big happy family.”
Vicki Gryboski shares Snyder’s commitment to the auction and to the library.
She heads up the committee that oversees the receipt of items that will be sold in the stands run by the library.
Gryboski is quick to share credit with other members of the committees.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” she said. “Members of the committee work all year round.”
Four library-sponsored tents contain treasures collected, catalogued and placed by the committee, enjoyed not only by those who may want to make a purchase, but by those who want to take a peek back in time.
In the “Attic Treasure” tent, for example, a flour sifter has many attendees sharing stories about their mothers’ kitchens.
A sewing kit contained in a special basket is a conversation piece with many people remembering a time when clothing repairs were done by their mothers and grandmothers.
The “Gifts from the Heart” stand brings vintage and Victorian items to life with pastel colors and lace beautifully presented bringing “oohs” and “aahs” as attendees made their way through the tent.
And although a lot of energy and effort is required to make the event a success, Gryboski said it is also a lot of fun.
“Every time we open a box of donated items, it’s like opening a present,” she said. “We never know what we’re going to get.”
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