The Whale of a Sale, Junior League of Tallahassee’s (JLT) largest fundraiser since 1974, took place on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, 2011 at the Tallahassee Mall (in the former Goody’s location). Thousands of people attended the weekend’s events. The sale raised approximately $55,000 to support the Junior League of Tallahassee’s mission of training volunteers and implementing community projects that improve the lives of children and families by helping children succeed in school. The sale featured furniture, house wares, toys, sporting goods, appliances, books, music, DVDs and more! Items were collected year-round and stored at AMWAT Moving and Warehousing.
“The 2011 Whale of a Sale had great deals for a great cause,” said Betsy Couch, APR, Junior League of Tallahassee President. “Our annual sale is two great things in one – a fundraiser for the JLT and all our wonderful community projects and a great place for the community to purchase quality items they need at a discounted price.”
The Junior League received a record number of donations ranging from full living room sets to a brand new stove to toys for children of all ages. Shoppers were able to outfit an entire house with furniture and appliances, stock a library with books and movies or pick up quality baby items and much more. There were thousands of items at low prices.
This year, JLT partnered with Whole Child Leon to provide free infant and toddler developmental screenings during the Big Sale Day on February 26, 2011. Trained professionals performed basic developmental screenings and provided brief overviews of the child’s development in the areas of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal social skills. The screenings were fun for the more than 40 children that participated and parents gained invaluable knowledge of their child’s progress. The professionals also personally discussed the results and any further steps parents can take to promote their child’s development. With 90 percent of a child's brain development occurring before age five, making sure children are meeting expected developmental goals is crucial. Having a child’s development screened on a regular basis is the best way to make sure their development is on track. For more information please contact Whole Child Leon at (850) 414- 8344.
Also new this year, JLT introduced a “room makeover” component to the Whale of a Sale. JLT re-decorated a bedroom for Destiney, a local 16-year-old who has been in foster care for a more then two years. The teen will be adopted into her forever family in Summer 2011 and the JLT wanted to help her celebrate. The JLT used items donated to the Whale of a Sale and members’ creative talents to outfit her entire bedroom. Items used in the room that were sourced from Whale of a Sale donations included: the bed frame, night stand, desk, chair, lamps, mirrors, picture frames, storage and decorative boxes and more. Similar items were availble for purchase at the Whale of a Sale. Destiney was photographed by the JLT in 2009 for the Heart Gallery North Florida. The Heart Gallery North Florida is a community project of the JLT. For more information about the HGNF and adoption, please visit: www.heartgallerynorthflorida.org or www.exploreadoption.org.
During the “Havana Nights” themed preview party and silent auction on Friday, February 25, attendees experienced fun evening of delicious food catered by the University Center Club, drinks and entertainment. Guests attending the preview party are able to shop Whale merchandise before the Saturday crowds, had a chance to bid on amazing items at the silent auction and check out the new 2011 Kia cars from Kia AutoSport of Tallahassee.
Whale of a Sale could not be a success without its dedicated sponsors. The 2011 Whale of a Sale sponsors include AMWAT Moving and Warehousing; Kia Auto Sport of Tallahassee; Barefoot Wine; Cabot Cheese; Christy Jennings Creative; COMM1 Investments; Cumulus Broadcasting; Dr. Cory Couch; Dr. Gregory Iseman DC, TLC Chiropractic; Eubanks, Barrett, Fasig & Brooks; Flagler College; Florida Association of Broadcasters; Florida Virtual School; Fox 49 Tallahassee; Infinity Software Development; Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Financial; Southeastern Plastic Surgery; Tallahassee Mall; Tri-Eagle Sales; University Center Club; Vegas Nights Mobile Casino Parties; Woodland Fields Photography.
All proceeds from the Whale of a Sale support the JLT mission, which includes training volunteers and implementing community projects that improve the lives of children and families by helping children succeed in school. A sampling of JLT projects include:
· Operation Prom Dress – outfits students from Gretchen Everhart School for Exceptional Students and local, deserving teens with prom attire.
· Fostering Hope – provides mentoring to local foster children and promoting public adoption with the Heart Gallery North Florida.
· Kids Boutique – provides back-to-school clothes and supplies for elementary school children in need and offers basic skills training opportunities for the children and their parents or guardians.
· Kids in the Kitchen – teaches children and families about nutrition.