An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Julia Cho P '18 '20, PGA president

The Lakeside Rummage Sale takes place March 16-17 in The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center. 

I wonder how many Lakeside parents/guardians have shared this experience. After dropping off my older child on his first day at Lakeside over five years ago, thoughts were swirling through my mind. “I wonder how I’ll meet other parents, how can we learn more about Lakeside . . . where do I start?” Our family was new to Seattle and to Lakeside and I admit, I was a bit daunted by the unknown of it all. As we pulled out of Red Square, my husband, seeming to read my mind, suggested, “Why don’t you go to the next thing on the PGA calendar?” Well, that was my impetus for walking into the Rummage Depot (once I found it) on a sunny September morning.

The strongest memory of that first Rummage day was how welcoming, warm, and kind our 9th grade reps were. As we sorted over the months, the 9th grade parents/guardians talked about a variety of school and parenting matters, and ultimately developed friendships with one another. Our fantastic reps also encouraged us to get more involved in the PGA. Fast forward to now, we can see that so many of our wonderful parent/guardian volunteers and leaders have been cultivated from our Rummage community.

The Rummage Sale and program has transformed throughout the decades and serves as one historical timeline for our Lakeside community. From its 1950 origin in the Chapel basement through its journey from one iconic Seattle location to another, the legendary Sale has been housed in The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center in recent years. Originally founded by a group of moms, the current Rummage program is supported directly and indirectly by parents, guardians, staff, parents/guardians of alums, and our faculty/administration. As the relevance of rummage sales has evolved over the years, the Lakeside Rummage program has changed its scope and adjusted to become more pertinent to our community.

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Lakeside Rummage Sale, it may be difficult to believe that a program commonly perceived as an “untidy search through a receptacle” ( could still exist. The Lakeside Rummage program is anything but this perception. Instead, it encompasses the spirit of “to discover by searching” (Merriam-Webster). On a basic level, volunteers search through our donations to discover the special items that will raise programming funds for our students and their teachers. On another level, PGA leadership continues to discover ways to improve the quality of the volunteer experience by searching for better ways to economize effort and improve systems.

Ultimately, the sustaining magic of the Rummage program is the building and bringing together of communities at Lakeside and beyond. Current parents/guardians discover new relationships leading to grade-level camaraderie, students discover the joy of serving together, faculty and staff discover the thrill of that great purchase and mingling with other communities in a casual atmosphere, alums and parents/guardians of alums re-discover one another, families discover the happiness of a shared experience, and most of all, we each discover the joy of being a part of something bigger than ourselves.