Local 'legend' retires from The Rummage Room

Maria Drieghe

Maria Drieghe

Anyone who has ever shopped, donated or volunteered at The Rummage Room in Old Greenwich, surely knows Maria! As a volunteer, Assistant Manager and then Manager of The Rummage Room, Maria Drieghe is now retiring after 20 years spent at “the best little shop in town.”

It all began one day in 1995 when Maria’s car broke down and she came into The Rummage Room to use the phone. The rest as they say “is history!” Maria’s love of The Rummage Room, its staff, volunteers, and customers is palpable. She has treated the shop all these years as if it were her own and she is loved by so many! Maria has been a true champion of this little shop that does so much for others (over the past 51 years, The Rummage Room has contributed well over $4 million to charity!)

Under Maria’s creative direction, the shop windows, all decorated with items from The Rummage Room, have won awards from the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce and the Garden Club of Old Greenwich year after year, and the “live” mannequins in the window for April Fools’ Day are now legendary. Maria has been the planner and leader for the tremendously popular August Grand Reopenings for the past 20 years … using her skills as an event manager and master merchandiser to make the reopenings as grand and lucrative as they could possibly be. People come from miles around to line up outside The Rummage Room every year waiting for the doors to open at 10 a.m.

Maria came to the United States from her native Belgium in 1990 with her husband and two small children and she proudly became a U.S. citizen in 2011. In her retirement, Maria will spend more time with her family and traveling back to Belgium where her parents still live. We wish her well in her new adventures. Maria has been a wonderful friend, a fabulous leader, and a complete joy for all at The Rummage Room and in the community. There will be a special Open House Reception to honor Maria on Friday, Aug. 28, from 10-5, so be sure to stop in then to say a fond farewell.

The Rummage Room will be closed Aug. 3-23 for restocking and repairs, and will have its 51st Grand Reopening on Monday, Aug. 24.

The Rummage Room hours are Monday through Friday, 10-5 and Saturday, 10-1.

The Rummage Room

The Rummage Room began in 1964 as an annual rummage sale held at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich. This event was so successful it was transformed into a business housed in a vacant storefront in Old Greenwich.

In true “barn-raising” tradition, volunteers cleaned floor to ceiling, painted walls and doors, built shelves and bins, and created the little shop.

Today, still owned and operated by the Women’s Fellowship of The First Congregational Church, The Rummage Room is staffed by a manager, four assistants and about 80 volunteers. The Rummage Room operates Monday through Friday and a half day on Saturday.

Over the past 51 years, the business has thrived and been responsible for the contribution of well over four million dollars to local, national and international benevolent organizations.

The Rummage Room, 191 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, 203-637-1875, www.fccog.org/about-us/the-rummage-room/

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