“Some people had never been down here,” says Laura Berick, one of Fun Fair’s dedicated crew.
“But they’re learning,” fellow resident Wilma Wittkowsky chimes in. Joining Wilma and Laura in the enterprise are Barbara Baum, Jean White and Roger Ellsworth, all dedicated to making the shop a success.
“Roger is our electrical engineer,” Wilma explains. “He tests everything – irons, radios, any devices.”
“That’s right,” Laura adds. “We don’t sell anything that doesn’t work.”
But Fun Fair offers much more than small appliances. “We tell people, look in your corners, you’ll find something you’re no longer using,” Laura says. Every item displayed in the shop is donated, ranging from sequined purses and elegant scarves to crystal wineglasses, picture frames, hand-hewn pottery, paintings and pretty baskets. The inventory changes almost daily.
“Everyone’s looking for something different,” Laura says. “People say, ‘I really don’t need anything,’ then something catches their eye.” One resident, 102 years old, bought two small cups because when she wants a drink of water during the night, she only wants a few sips. The little cups were just what she needed.
“We even had a customer who needed an ice pick,” Barbara Baum says, “and wouldn’t you know, we had one!”
During the school year, students shop at Fun Fair to buy affordable dishes and flatware for their apartments. Residents bring their grandchildren to the shop; teenagers especially love the vintage jewelry on display.
But the real wow factor about Fun Fair is that it’s become a social center Residents stop in, take a seat and chat for a while.
The volunteers in the Fun Fair’s dedication, time investment, and hospitality are appreciated by all who visit. The Fun Fair is one of many resident-run programs at Judson Manor.