Hundreds of rain soaked bargain hunters filed into AT&T Stadium early Saturday morning for Dallas Cowboys' First and Goal Charity Garage Sale.
“Players and coaches collect stuff just like average folks do,” Whitney Faulkner, spokesperson for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club, said. The event gives fans a chance to take home a different type of memorabilia.
The sale was first organized in 2012 by Candice Romo, but this was the first time it had been held at AT&T Stadium. According to Faulkner, about $16,000 was raised. That figure doesn't include sponsorship dollars, which will be given to The Family Place, Gatehouse and the Salvation Army.
The doors opened at 8 a.m., and Julie Vincent said she got up early and drove from Aledo, picking up her friend, Laura Downing, in White Settlement along the way. At about 9:30 a.m. the women, who are Canton flea market regulars, were leaving with their empty, rolling backpack in tow.
“I guess we must have missed the best stuff,” Vincent said. “We didn’t find a thing.”
Downing said after watching TV news reports filled with furniture and electronics, the two had expected more and better quality merchandise. They say they were disappointed, especially after plunking down 5 bucks each to get inside.
For an average garage sale, a $5 entrance fee is unusual. However, a checkout person announced that the fee would be refunded once a purchase tallied $10 or more.
And organizers kept the pricing simple. Everything cost $2 unless priced otherwise. The Dallas Cowboys Women’s Association is the event’s key organizer, Faulkner said, and with the exception of a few big ticket items, a non-negotiable, $2 flat-rate is used so fans can afford all items equally.
“We offer our employees the opportunity to donate their items and volunteer for the event,” Faulkner said. “A sense of community is encouraged in all Cowboys employees, so we always have great support from our staff.”
A quick scan of the clothing racks revealed a brand new dark blue, Edwards brand sports for $5. A similar jacket retails for $100 at Sears.
Another suit coat was priced at $10, as was a pair of new, silvery grey slacks. And deals got even sweeter over at the dress rack, where several new, $2 items waited to be scooped up.
There were also kiddie swimming pools filled with ball caps and koozies and a table full of children’s games and puzzles. Nearby lay a down-filled, holiday green, ice scraping mitt by Eddie Bauer.
A few bookshelves, a $20 zebra-striped chair and a massive $400 headboard were among the few remaining pieces of unsold furniture.
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“We try as hard as we can to identify large items, like Cole Beasley's sofa or the Witten's baby clothes,” Faulkner says. “However, when you receive boxes upon boxes of donations from so many generous people, it is sometimes easier to let fans take a guess.”
While we didn’t see a sign saying anything like “this golf ball belonged to Jerry Jones,” which may or may not have increased its value, there was a section of sports memorabilia with pricier, signed items that didn’t seem to be drawing much attention.
For the most part, in lieu of eyeing an upscale $1,525 autographed helmet or $900 framed jersey, shoppers were opting to plunder piles of shoes and clothing and were filling bags, boxes and plastic bins with their finds.
Connie Parker came from Duncanville and was headed to the checkout with an armload of shoes and other
items. “You can’t beat a $2 price for anything,” she said. “I was expecting a lot more, but I’m good.”