The Peninsula Orthopedic Guild Thrift Shop officially reopened on Tuesday. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was the culmination of a year of dedication, community service and hard work.
The guild donates all of its proceeds to the Mary Bridge Brigade, an organization of volunteers who support of MultiCare Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma.
The property on which the thrift shop lies, on the corner of Kimball Drive and Pioneer Way, was given to the guild in the 1970s as a donation.
“They started having yearly Christmas sales and bake sales and that sort of thing,” said Lisa Marinkovich, the guild’s vice president. “Then down on Judson Street, years ago there was a little building down there, and they called it the country store. They were open and started selling used stuff.”
The building was moved to the corner at its current location one Sunday morning.
It burned down in July 2012, and the cause of the fire is still undetermined.
The building was insured, but the insurance money wasn’t nearly enough to cover the costs to rebuild it. That would include architectural drawings, building permits, electrical work and construction.
The shop — and the 30 volunteers who keep it running — were in a difficult position.
“We didn’t have a clue how to build something like this,” Marinkovich said.
Lost and overwhelmed, the guild reached out for help, and the community responded. The Gig Harbor Morning Rotary Club learned about the guild’s predicament through Marie Magnuson, whose husband, Ole, is a Rotary member.
Al Abbott, another Rotary member, said the club donated some money from its community service fund to help, but it didn’t stop there.
“Marie came to our club and said, ‘How can you help? We obviously are devastated by what happened,’ ” Abbott recalled. “That was the beginning.
“Primarily what we provided was a lot of brain power and manpower,” he said.
Dave Freeman, an architect in Rotary, did all the drawings, hired subcontractors and got permits from the city, Abbott said.
Abbott said the city worked with the guild to approve permits efficiently. Ole Magnuson contributed carpentry work. Dwayne Fister, another club member, contributed electrical work.
Abbott said the club prefers to donate time and expertise rather than a lot of money.
“From our standpoint, it was right in our charter of what we do,” Abbott said. “It isn’t like some clubs where they just write a check; we just like to get involved. For us, it was a perfect project.”
Marinkovich praised the Rotary Club for all its contributions.
“Rotary has been absolutely wonderful as far as helping us with figuring out how to rebuild and what to do,” she said. “We’ve done fundraisers and that sort of thing. Rotary is No. 1. They’ve been so instrumental in helping us.”
The thrift shop had a soft opening last week to work out any problems volunteers might have.
Tuesday’s ribbon cutting marked the shop’s official re-opening. The guild also held and appreciation celebration to honor those who helped to make the project a reality.