Cavalier Thrift Store donates one millionth dollar to local community – Grand Forks Herald

Cavalier Thrift Store had long surpassed its humble roots by reaching $104,000 in total donations to local organizations in 2004. On Wednesday, it held a celebration where it donated its millionth dollar.

People flocked to the basement of the Cavalier Presbyterian Church to shop and donate items when Agnes Pico Spiller opened the store over 70 years ago because the store could not afford to rent her own storefront. After moving several times in the 1990s, he landed at 212 Main St. W., in Cavalier where he is today.

“When it moved to a permanent building, (Cavalier Thrift Store) began donating to area organizations that needed funds,” said Carol Beard, who has volunteered at the Cavalier Thrift Store for more than 10 years.

It all led to a celebration on Wednesday, when the store donated its millionth dollar to the Cavalier Fire Department. Beard said it doesn’t matter why the fire department got the millionth dollar. The store handed out 32 checks on Wednesday before giving away the millionth dollar, and all but one of the check recipients were in attendance for the celebration.

“Every fire department, every ambulance crew and every rapid response unit in the county will receive a donation,” Beard said ahead of the celebration. “The Cavalier Fire Department happens to be the millionth dollar winner.”

Any person or organization can request monetary donations, and the Cavalier Thrift Store steps in and makes it happen.

“People write us letters asking for funds if they need anything,” Beard said. “We always publish an article in our local newspaper about the beneficiaries, but we never put the amounts.”

Those who are not in need and want to help can donate money and items to the store, with the sole exception of computers and televisions. Everything else, from clothes, household items and even children’s toys, can be donated. Residents aren’t the only ones who can donate.

“We get donations from all the surrounding communities,” Beard said. “We’ve had donations from as far away as Oakes or Crookston. We have visitors from all over the country. Last week we had someone from Utah, someone from Alabama, California and Arizona. We have clients who may be back here for a vacation or just to visit family, and most of them end up finding something they need.

Cavalier Thrift Store also provides two $1,000 scholarships each year to each of the Pembina County high schools for students who decide to attend trade school. Beard said he has donated $98,000 in scholarships so far.

The store was open five days a week before the COVID-19 pandemic began. It closed for three and a half months once the closings began before reopening, and now it operates on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Beard said business has returned to about the same level as before the pandemic, and most volunteers have also returned.

“Our volunteer force is not really young,” Beard said. “There were those with health issues who didn’t want to come out, so we closed for that time. But we are open again and we are doing very well. »

The celebration also honored Maida Stark, a woman who volunteered at the Cavalier Thrift Store for 26 years, who died in 2020. Giving away the millionth dollar was one of her goals, and she wanted to be there for it.

“It was in sight,” Beard said. “It was coming up when she passed away last year. She always told us that was her goal – to get that millionth dollar away. Today is truly in her honor and in her memory. Her children will be here.

Beard is grateful to those who have contributed to this milestone over the years, and she hopes people will continue to help Cavalier Thrift Store serve the community.

“We have a wonderful group of about 20 volunteers,” Beard said. “It’s very rewarding. It is certainly a wonderful goal for the community that people donate and support our causes by shopping with us. It is very rewarding.

Shawn Kessel, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, speaks at the Cavalier Thrift Store millionth dollar celebration.