Beautiful Bazaar: Annual Art Gallery Fundraiser Supports Animal Welfare in Jefferson County | News, Sports, Work

Ruth Barb of Shepherdstown browses some home goods at the annual Bridge Gallery August Art Bazaar on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For one weekend each August, Shepherdstown resident Kathryn Burns transforms her business space, The Bridge Gallery, from an art gallery to an art bazaar with the help of community residents who donate their time and “articles” will be sold at the August Art Bazaar.

According to Burns, the event has been held every year since she bought the business, about 15 years ago.

“We’ve been mostly outdoors for the past two years, but we’ve made it!” Burns said regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the event. “We were able to keep it.”

Burns noted that the bazaar was a success “not exactly” affected by the pandemic, although this year the pandemic affected fundraising in another, less expected way.

“We really got a lot of stuff this year [to sell]. During the pandemic, many people were cleaning out their garages and homes, so they had more to donate when the bazaar came around this year.” Burns said, noting that donated items include art, knick-knacks, antiques, rugs, books, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. “People have been so generous! It was beautiful.”

Jefferson County Animal Welfare Board member Rich Clauson, left, looks at some of the Christmas decorations being sold at the bazaar with his wife, Jane Clauson, at The Bridge Gallery on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

This year’s August Art Bazaar was held this past weekend with a good turnout from the local community.

“Our first day was already very busy,” Burns said. “We probably sold about half of what we already had!”

Proceeds from this year’s sale were donated to the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society, which will also be the recipient of the lower value items not sold at the bazaar.

“What happens is, what’s left after that, I’ll keep some of them for next year, and then the rest will go to an indoor yard sale for AWS in Charles Town in September, so they’ll go on to another sale, “ Burns said. “The higher-end items, the original art, the things I didn’t want to see, go for a dollar or two. . . I’ll try to save the better pieces for next year.

Rich Clauson and Janet Bailey were the two board members representing the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society at the bazaar, answering questions about the 501c3 charity and helping shoppers in need.

Leslie Williams of Shepherdstown browses the jewelry for sale at the annual Bridge August Gallery Art Bazaar as bazaar volunteer Laura Johnson looks on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“The proceeds from this event vary every year – last year I believe this event brought in $4,000. But there’s more to it than a dollar [that we benefit from],” Clauson said. “Dollars are always good, but recognition and letting the community know what we’re doing is just as important.”

According to Clawson, proceeds from the bazaar will be used to cover the organization’s shelter costs and to pay for spay/neuter coupons that are given out to help community members pay to have their pets spayed or neutered.

“People can come in and ask for a coupon if they want to spay or neuter their pets. They take the coupon to their vet and the vet will send it to us for a fee.” Clauson said of the program. “Whatever is collected today, it all goes straight to our animal care funds. There are no administrative costs added to it — it’s all 100 percent to benefit the animals of Jefferson County.”

Bridge Gallery owner Kathryn Burns, right, talks with Purcellville, Va. resident Amanda Perez, center, and Shepherdstown resident Fran Skiles, during the August Art Bazaar Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

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