The 26th annual sale—part of a larger, community-wide garage sale—will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., Sept. 16 near the community basketball courts at 2503 Rikkard Drive in Thousand Oaks.
The students’ sale, according to Westlake High anatomy teacher Nancy Bowman, will feature furniture, household items, toys, clothes, sports equipment, books, antiques and more.
Doughnuts, soda, water, pizza and other refreshments will be sold, too.
Money raised from the garage sale will support Loma Linda’s pediatric cardiovascular unit, Bowman said.
The annual sale is the students’ way of saying thanks and giving back to Loma Linda doctors who have long served as advisers for the now-nationally recognized program, which Bowman started in 1991.
In the past, money raised at the rummage sale has been used to fulfill the wish lists of nurses at the hospital.
This year, all proceeds will be used to purchase holiday gifts for children in the pediatric cardiovascular unit.
Tawne Newcomb, a parent who is helping to organize the event, said this year’s garage sale is a way for students to “pay it forward” to a hospital that supports the school’s anatomy program.
“The dream goal . . . is that this year’s hard work will raise $7,000 to give back to the children,” Newcomb said in an email.
The $ 7,000 goal is ambitious. Last year, the class raised $2,600, but added donations from Bowman and another parent boosted the total to more than $3,400.
Westlake High’s advanced anatomy class has many unique components, including its own speaker series, Bowman said.
“The students read eight books over the summer that cover a broad spectrum of current issues in health care as well as the stories of doctors and nurses,” Bowman said. “The students write an essay styled more like a personal letter on each book. These essays are mailed to the authors. We are so fortunate to have these authors actually read the kids’ essays and respond back in some form.”
Last year, several prominent national writers came to speak to the students, including nurse Echo Heron, author of “Tending Lives” and “Emergency 24”; Dr. Emily Transue, author of “On Call” and “Patient by Patient”; and Dr. Ira Byock, author of “Dying Well” and “The Best Care Possible.”
“ Dr. Perri Klass, author of ‘Treatment Kind and Fair,’ emailed a wonderfully detailed response for the students. Keep in mind, Dr. Klass is a professor of journalism and professor at NYU School of Medicine in the pediatric division. She is also a prolific author. Dr. Pamela Nagami, author of ‘The Woman With a Worm in Her Head,’ returned the essays with comments written on each one. That’s pretty astounding.”
Bowman estimates that about 33 percent of students who complete advanced anatomy at Westlake go on to careers in various fields of medicine.
“We celebrated our 25th year of anatomy in 2016–2017,” Bowman said. “If you would have asked me after year one, I probably would have said the program would last, maybe, five years. I didn’t think it would be the type of class to appeal to a large number of students.
“ I learn more each year about the human condition, about disorders, diseases (and) syndromes. But the most fascinating thing happens to be the secrets the human body keeps tucked away deep inside,” Bowman said. “Not even the doctors who treat us are aware of all the mysteries we secret away somewhere in our anatomy. The human body is truly a marvel and full of surprises.”
In addition to raising funds through the garage sale, the class is accepting direct donations. To contribute money, ask for Nancy Bowman at the event, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items for the garage sale will be accepted from 6:30 to 7 a.m. on the day of the event.