Pilot Club wraps up 62nd show and sale at arena
HUNTINGTON -- The lively plunking of a piano accompanied by a chorus of murmured voices filled the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center on Sunday, as Tri-State residents made their way from vendor to vendor on the final day of the Pilot Club of Huntington's 62nd annual Antiques Show and Sale.
Customers gazed through glass cases that contained rare coins, shuffled through vintage clothing on hangars and gave appraising looks over items functional and recreational from bygone ages, all with a kind of hushed excitement of what the next glance might uncover.
"That's the fun of it, is the search," said Marlene Earls of Huntington, who was browsing vendor stalls with her husband, Jerry.
The Earls said they come to the show nearly every year. Marlene likes to collect cut glass, antique glass and vintage jewelry. Jerry said he collects beer steins and Masonic jewelry.
Both were able to find something to pique each other's interest Sunday, they said.
For Huntington residents Bob and Mary Palmer, there was no checklist heading into the event, just curiosity.
"This is the first time we've ever been to this," Bob Palmer said. "I went (Saturday), and I thought (Mary) would like it, so I brought her here today."
The event is the only fundraiser for the Pilot Club of Huntington, which distributes money annually to a host of nonprofits, including the Cabell County Special Olympics, Team for WV Children, the Cabell-Wayne Association for the Blind, Faith in Action, Girls Place, Huntington Museum of Art, Cabell County Public Library, The Healing Place and several others.
"The turnout has been great, much better than we expected," said Pilot Club member Suzanne Ellis, co-chair of the antiques show. "We had so many people out here Friday when half the city was flooded."
More than 30 dealers from 10 states were present over the three-day event to showcase their antiques, collectibles and vintage finds.
"We'll know how we did when after everything is over," Ellis said. "But, just from what I've seen, I think we've done well. We had a lot of people here Friday, a lot Saturday, and a lot have turned up and come out (Sunday).
The Pilot Club of Huntington funds nonprofits through grant applications, so its list of beneficiaries changes from year to year. All of the money for those grants comes from the antique show.
"Every bit of proceeds from this event go back into the community," Ellis said. "We don't keep anything for the club."
Follow reporter Ben Fields on Twitter @BenFieldsHD
About The Pilot Club
The Pilot Club of Huntington is part of Pilot International, a group that champions community development through aiding youth programs, providing service and education and uplifting families, according to its mission statement.
The Huntington club was chartered in 1941.
Its first Antique Show and Sale, the sole fundraiser for the club, took place in 1952 at the Frederick Hotel.
Since then, the antique show has raised more than $500,000 that has been re-distrubted to community programs through grants.
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