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Catherine Hughes, Rummage Sale Volunteer

Featured Article

High Fashion from a Rummage Sale?

The Ladies Board Delivers it in Style

Article by Melinda Gipson

Photography by MJLStudios

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

Today, Loudouners take having a county hospital for granted. But back in 1912, the six-bed Leesburg Hospital survived only with the support of what is now called The Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital ( These stalwart churchwomen supervised housekeeping and fundraising. And, beginning in 1938, they launched The Ladies Board Rummage Sale, a tradition now in its 84th year, to give the community a chance to both contribute gently used clothing and furniture, and to shop to support quality healthcare in Loudoun County. 

Tradition says that the first year of the Rummage Sale was almost its last, the organizers feeling that they had surely exhausted the supply of lightly used items that could be donated by their $150 haul. This October, the sale of truly extraordinary fare ranging from fine jewelry and accessories, high-fashion clothing and furs, “Man Cave” electronics and holiday items, to decorative items and household goods will take place two and a half days from October 13-15 ( This year the sale will even feature 70 wedding dresses donated by a shop going out of business. 

Its first day, Friday from noon to 3 p.m., is a VIP-only shopping event for just 200 patrons who must buy a $50 ticket for early entry, and they’ll probably sell out! (See The following Saturday and Sunday will see literally thousands of local shoppers browsing the buildings and tents of the Loudoun County Fairgrounds. 

Past participants speak of the sale in awe of its scale and variety, and brag about their finds. We thought there would be no better way to prove the point than by giving some of those who benefit from Ladies Board donations and a few of the volunteers who staff the sale an opportunity to strut their stuff in Rummage Sale fashion finds. Among their number is Jaimee Robinson, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, NPD-BC, C-EFM, C-ONQS, Labor & Delivery Clinical Educator and Perinatal Care Coordinator for Inova Loudoun Hospital. Jaimee is a recent recipient of a Ladies Board nursing scholarship. She’s using her scholarship to achieve a doctorate in nursing practice from The George Washington University. 

Working part time, Jaimee told us it will take her until May of 2025 to graduate, but, in the meantime, the scholarship, and the freedom to split time between work and school, affords her the opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance and to stay connected to the lives of her own children. Aside from her personal education, she’s quick to note a recent $10,000 donation from The Ladies Board to Inova’s obstetrical services, for simulation equipment which her program uses to train all its EMS providers in both normal and emergency obstetrical deliveries.

That amount pales in comparison with the $3,580,676 the Rummage Sale has generated since 1959: the Board contributed $1 million to the hospital’s Birthing Inn, and another $1 million to the Cornwall Emergency Room, and has funded more than $2 million in nursing scholarships as well as critical projects like the Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center and the Lisa Dugan Chapel at Inova Loudoun Hospital. They’re more than halfway to another $1.2 million pledge they hope to meet in the next three years. Funding to cover the Board’s pledge also comes from the Twice Is Nice thrift shop in Leesburg, the Riverside Gift Shop at the hospital in Lansdowne, the Lights of Love remembrance program, the Rummage Sale, and the Polly Clemens Nursery Fund.

All those zeroes tend to blur together absent specifics. What struck us repeatedly as we scouted the halls of Inova Loudoun’s less well-known venues for our photo shoot was the sheer pervasiveness of the Board’s generosity – here exercise equipment, there therapeutic facilities – even a renovation of the hospital chapel!

The Board works closely with the Inova Foundation to bridge the gap between its budget and its needs, explains Alexia Orr, a member of the Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees and Chair of The Look Department, the Rummage Sale’s fine clothing repository. “The way it works is that every year each hospital department has a budget, but there are always more wants than the budget is set for.” After a thorough review of other potential donations, The Ladies Board is offered the opportunity to raise money for those requests, “and they’ve been very generous.” 

So have Loudoun’s donors, adds Joylyn Hannahs, Rummage Sale Chair. “It’s very easy now to take to these high-end things and go on to Facebook Marketplace and sell them on your own. We're so fortunate that we have such a great tradition like the Rummage Sale that folks feel really excited to donate to us.” 

And for that, there’s still time! The final donation drop for the sale will be held Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Inova Loudoun Hospital at 44045 Riverside Parkway in Leesburg, the Cornwall Campus at 224 Cornwall St. and Loudoun Valley High School at 340 N Maple Ave. in Purcellville. There’s also an online Silent Auction, the link for which will be posted at, and plenty of opportunities to volunteer. 

It’s all great fun, too, because, besides looking great at a bargain, patrons wear the delight of supporting a great cause. 

  • Five Inova and four Rummage Sale Volunteers Joined our Tribute as Models
  • Bezu Tadesse, Clin Tech 2, Inova Loudoun Hospital
  • Catherine Hughes, Rummage Sale Volunteer
  • Michael Gauvreau and Ming Donovan, Rummage Sale Volunteers
  • Susan Carroll, President, Inova Loudoun Hospital
  • 8.	Nicole Dlesk RN, MSN, PCCN, Clinical Director 51 North, Inova Loudoun Hospital
  • 9.	Sarah Stinson, BSN, RN, CPEN, Administrative Director, Inova Loudoun Hospital
  • Ming Donovan, Rummage Sale Volunteer
  • Maryse Wayser-Pratte, Ladies Board Member, Rummage Sale Volunteer and stylist for our photo shoot
  • Jaimee Robinson, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, NPD-BC, C-EFM, C-ONQS, Labor & Delivery Clinical Educator & Perinatal Care Coordinator, Inova Loudoun Hospital