Jammed aisles, giddy shoppers and a positive bargain-hunting buzz made clear last weekend’s Guilty Girls Warehouse Sale – the eighth year of the event since its 2013 launch – was another rousing success.
Held over Friday and Saturday at the DuPont Country Club, this year’s show featured 35 local and regional vendors offering fashionable items at retail prices that no savvy shopper could turn down: 30% to 80% off retail prices.
The Warehouse Sale is run by the Guilty Girls Giving Group, a committee of local women who wanted to take their interest in design and fashion and turn it into an opportunity to help nonprofits in their community. Each year they pick a new charity, typically with a focus on those which serve women and children.
This year’s charitable beneficiary will be Kay’s Foundation, which operates Kay’s Camp, a medically supervised overnight camp held at the University of Delaware for children struggling with cancer. Over the last seven years, the Guilty Girls Giving Group has awarded $180,000 to seven Delaware nonprofits.
The six women who founded the Guilty Girls nonprofit are Amy Kanzleiter, Megan Corey, Colleen Corrado, Kerry Wendel, Cathy Killian, and Lena Salus.
Like all of the other planners, Killian has helped plan the event since its inception. She said the high energy and turnout for this year’s event was palpable.
“We had people checking bags [with purchased items] in coat check and running out to their cars and coming back in. It was really incredible. We were amazed at the enthusiasm of our shoppers this year,” said Killian. “We just had a really nice high-end merchandise and exhibitors were really marking down the prices.”
For the eighth year in a row, the opening-night VIP hour – giving shoppers their pick of the choicest merchandise – was a sell-out. Saturday brought a steady stream of shoppers throughout the day.
“Overall, we absolutely got feedback from the vendors that [opening night] was one of the best nights they’ve ever had,” said Killian, who estimates that at least 900 women attended this year’s event. Planners will take the week to tally the monies raised and total attendance.
Kay’s Camp was named after Kaylyn Elaine Warren, who had just started her senior year at Red Lion Christian Academy in 2006 when she was diagnosed with Leukemia.
After months of enduring treatments for cancer, Kay died in March of 2007. Her parents Bill and Laurie Warren later started Kay’s Camp to give children with cancer a week-long experience similar to most summer camps – but with volunteer nurses and physicians on staff who can address medical concerns.
Killian says Guilty Girls Giving Group selected Kay’s Foundation after careful consideration. “No one gets paid — it’s all volunteer, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. You know, you can’t change the world. But you can give kids in our local area one week of just having fun and feeling normal and being released from their routines at home,” said Killian.