After being hosted for 77 years, it’s the end of the line for the annual Stettler Rummage Sale.
The Stettler chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) made the announcement in a recent facebook post.
“It’s a sad discussion, that’s for sure,” said Vivian Lowther, of the IODE volunteers.
“Our membership is declining and it is too big of a responsibility to keep it running smoothly. It’s time to let it go.”
When Lowther joined the IODE over 30 years ago, she recalls the Stettler chapter having around 25 members. Now, it is a shadow of its former self with just five active members.
“We’re all getting old,” said Lowther.
“It’s hard to find dedicated young people.”
The long standing community group has donated to a lot of different causes in the Stettler community over the decades. The group has sponsored school awards, supported women’s shelters, the handi-bus, and, according to Lowther, even started the original Stettler library.
There have been many other beneficiaries over the years as well.
Lowther says that the Stettler IODE chapter does appreciated all who have volunteered in the past, and those volunteers are the reason the sale was able to carry on for as long as it did.
“It was a hard decision to make, but it had to be done.”
As for next steps for the few remaining IODE members? That path remains unclear.
The group will be having a meeting in October to discuss next steps going forward, with one of the options being dissolving.
Regardless of whether the IODE dissolves or remains active in a reduced capacity, the impact will be felt in the community with fewer donations going to different charities.
Lowther is hopeful that another group will pick up the mantle and possibly carry on the rummage sale.