A local thrift shop that has been a staple on Buffalo Avenue in LaSalle for more than 20 years will soon be making its final sale.
Volunteers who run the Lutheran Association for Developmentally Disabled, or LADD, thrift shop at 8662 Buffalo Ave. confirmed that they are preparing to close the doors for good on April 18.
Former store manager and longtime shop volunteer Helen Rengstorf said the owner of the building where the thrift store has been located for 24 years informed representatives from LADD that he has secured another tenant for the site and would be expecting them to vacate the premises by the end of the month.
“We are just closing. Period,” Rengstorf said. “We are not moving.”
With a total of 22 volunteers representing an average age of 75, Rengstorf said after a review of possible alternate locations, it was decided that moving the store’s contents would prove too difficult. As a result, the store will be closed by mid-month to allow volunteers additional time to clear away shelving and other contents inside the building by the owner-imposed May 1 deadline.
In the meantime, the store — which has always sold donated clothes, toys, home decor and other items at affordable prices to raise money for various charitable causes — is now having an everything must go sale. All items are priced at 50 cents each.
“We are very sorry to be closing and not being able to continue to serve the people of Niagara Falls,” Rengstorf said.
LADD has been serving the Western New York community for decades. The organization’s stores have relied entirely on donations, allowing volunteers to sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, dishes, decorations, jewelry and other items, often for no more than a few dollars apiece. With the exception of paying for utilities and other operational costs, the store’s profits have been used by LADD to support several charitable organizations, including local group homes for the disabled as well as Camp Pioneer, a camp for the disabled on Lake Erie in Angola.
The Falls LADD shop is one of two in the area. It has actually been in operation in the city for 27 years total, having been located in a different building on Cayuga Drive for three years before it moved into the current shop on Buffalo Avenue.