- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - After 28 years in business, Ewe’s Treasures in Pekin hit its $1 million sales mark Feb. 17 when Kim Irvin came in and purchased her items.

June Berndt is the volunteer manager at the store, a position she’s held for about 20 years. She said that all profits go to Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Pekin. When they opened in 1986 the store gave the school $1,100. Berndt said now they give from $32,000 to $34,000 per year. The money goes into the school’s general operating fund.

Berndt said, “It was sort of nice for someone who is a very regular customer to have come in and helped us reach our million dollar sale. She won a gift certificate so she can come back and buy more from us.”

The store operates with volunteers only. A couple of volunteers have been there helping out since the store opened, according to Berndt. “We have mostly ladies, but some very active men,” she said.

Their volunteers come from Trinity Lutheran Church in Pekin, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pekin and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Green Valley. “We have a board member at every shift,” Berndt said. Ewe’s Treasures is open six days a week and is located at 901 Court St. They are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Donated items are accepted from the public. There is a drop-off location on the side of the building, which looks like a house, on Ninth Street. “Basically it is a big garage sale,” said Berndt. “We have been very blessed. We get all kinds of merchandise. We accept clothing, toys, kitchen items, small kitchen appliances and knick-knacks. The only thing we do not take is furniture. We just don’t have anywhere to put it.”

When it is time for seasonal merchandise changes, the volunteers mark everything down. Berndt said that currently, winter clothing is half-price to sell what remains and make room for spring items.

Although the business has been there for nearly three decades, Berndt said that they always welcome new faces. “Every day we have someone come in who has not been in the store before,” she said.

Debbie Fornoff serves on the Good Shepherd Lutheran School board and is the publicity chairperson representing Trinity Lutheran. She said that over the years, more than $700,000 has been given to the school. “There are good people in Pekin,” she said. “It is run completely by volunteers.”

The efforts of all the volunteers do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Good Shepherd Lutheran School Principal Joel Kilgus said he was excited to hear the news.

“Being a private school, our funds come from tuition, fundraisers and support from our three member congregations,” said Kilgus. “The money donated by Ewe’s Treasures helps us to keep tuition costs down and the churches’ expenses to the school down. Without this support, we would not be able to allocate resources to other areas like helping to keep our technology up to date.

“Without the volunteers at Ewe’s Treasures and the time they put in none of this would have been possible. I want to give them a big thank you from the staff and students at Good Shepherd.”


Source: Pekin Daily Times, https://bit.ly/1vI4tdE


Information from: Pekin Daily Times, https://www.pekintimes.com

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