FAR HILLS, NJ _ It's the rummage sale that puts Far Hills on the map for bargain hunters -- the much awaited giant rummage sale organized each October (and April) to raise funds to assist patients of the Basking Ridge-based Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills.

This year's fall VNA Rummage Sale is scheduled, in rain or shine, for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 to 7. Sale hours are 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, with some of the most anxious shoppers lining up on Friday morning.

The sale, a regional shopping tradition for more than 90 years, again is located at the picturesque Far Hills Fairgrounds at the intersection of US Route 202 and Peapack Road in Far Hills, New Jersey. New Jersey Transit's Far Hills train station is a short walk away. 

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Parking and admission are free.

Bargain hunters, collectors, and thrift store fans will find 25 "departments" of merchandise of donated items staffed by hundreds of volunteers, many of whom return year after year.

The VNA rummage sale benefits home care patients and caregivers who either lack insurance or are underinsured.

Much of the enjoyment associated with the sale comes with tradition as shoppers arrive expecting the usual vast variety of merchandise as always, with some unusual items and treasures sprinkled within.

"The volunteers have really done an outstanding job getting the grounds and displays ready," the VNA's communications manager, Paula Some, said on Wednesday.

Although veteran shoppers know the ropes -- including knowing to stop at the lunch stand, which is another fundraiser for local firefighters and the first aid squad -- Some said that the rummage sale might feel overwhelming for first-time visitors.

Flu vaccines to be available

"New shoppers can be reminded that we do have maps available at the information tent and other locations," she said. The fall VNA Rummage Sale also provides a booth where shoppers can pick up their annual flu shots.

The Rummage Sale each spring and fall offers a vast inventory of well-organized and items that have been sorted, priced, and tested by volunteers. Merchandise includes clothing for women, men and children; fashion accessories; furniture; home goods; decorative, novelty and collectible items; pet supplies; artwork; toys and games; sporting goods; fine and costume jewelry; antiques; kitchenware; appliances; electronics; lighting fixtures; books; cameras; vintage items; musical instruments; vinyl records; video games; fabric, sewing accessories and yarn; holiday decorations; costumes; gardening supplies; outdoor furnishings; and more. More than 450 volunteers have carefully inspected, cleaned, and displayed the goods.

The items being sold were donated prior to the sale by many people throughout the area.

Through their purchases, shoppers will make an impact on the lives of patients, families and caregivers throughout the community, according to the VNA. Proceeds from the sale help provide home care, hospice care, adult day and caregiver assistance services, including important and innovative programs uncompensated by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. Additionally, the VNA works with a carefully vetted group of charities following the sale and passes along unsold items to help those in need in the local community or elsewhere in the world. 

More information about the sale:

§  Rain or shine.

§  Parking and admission are free. Parking for handicapped shoppers is available.

§  Credit cards (Mastercard and Visa), cash, and checks accepted in all departments. Photo identification may be required for credit cards and checks.

§  Flu shots (individuals over 18) will be available at the VNA information tent Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost per flu shot is $25 and is free for those covered under Medicare Part B (card required for verification.) No Medicare Advantage plans, private insurance, or Medicaid will be accepted as payment. Shots are also free for Far Hills residents with ID.

§  Short walking distance from the NJ Transit Far Hills Station.

§  Food is available for purchase, cash only.

§  Strollers, shopping carts and pets are welcome on the grounds but, for safety reasons, not allowed inside any of the tents or departments.

§  For more information and to connect with the Rummage Sale:

On the web: http://www.visitingnurse.org/events/rummage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vnarummagesale

The Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills and its subsidiaries provide individuals and families with comprehensive, quality-focused, cost-effective home health, hospice, adult day, and community wellness services to all those in need. The VNA is a charitable, tax-exempt home health agency and hospice certified by Medicare, accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) and licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Credentials include recognition as a 2017 HomeCare Elite® Agency. For more information, visit http://www.visitingnurse.org.