A little second-hand store gem is nestled in the heart of McLennan, waiting for visitors to open its doors and support the community run facility.
Lakeview Pioneer Society board chair Donna Jean (D.J.) Hicks says the store gives back all of its profits back to the community, and over the years the group has donated to many projects that are centred around local seniors.
“Our mandate is to support seniors in our community,” explains Hicks.
“Lots of our donations have gone to support residents in the Manoir du Lac, but we’ve also donated to recreation board to help with the paving of the lakefront walking paths, and also to the Christmas decorating committee,” she adds.
“We think the seniors enjoy these additions to the town and so can everyone else.”
The store is operated by the Lakeview Pioneer Society, which Hicks explains is a non-profit organization, but the store is affectionately called the Second Look Boutique.
“The store is completely run by volunteers,” she says. “We still have two ladies, Anne Trotter and Doreen Potskin, who have been volunteering from the beginning.”
The store idea was originally cultivated by long-time McLennan resident Chris Jones and a group of her community-minded friends in 2003. Jones was an enthusiastic volunteer in several organizations and community-centric events, and Hicks says although she passed away last year, her memory and legacy live on through the store.
The original group thought a thrift store would be an excellent addition to the community, offering lower priced items to people who would want a bargain.
“Originally they opened their doors in the old Pelland building along the highway, but before long they relocated to its second location, which was the original pharmacy in McLennan,” explains Hicks.
“As of Feb. 1, we made a third move across the street to the ATB building. This is an amazing location for us with lots of space to organize and display our goods.”
Hicks explains the society understands that families are struggling to meet all financial obligations, so they want to ensure they can sell their merchandise at a reasonable price. She adds it gives people a place to donate their items that are no longer wanted, instead of bringing-lightly used items to the landfill.
“We see ourselves as much a service to the town as a business,” she says. “We never turn anyone away; one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Sometimes we don’t even know what an item is, but sooner or later an excited customer tells us they’ve been looking for that item everywhere.”
The Second Look Boutique accepts all clothing, small appliances, kitchenware, electronics, toys, books, and now will also be accepting large pieces of furniture.
“Our customers and donors come from all over the region,” says Hicks.
“We draw from throughout the Smoky River area, High Prairie, Valleyview, Peace River and beyond.”
The store is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Hicks says interested Facebook users can check out their site listed under McLennan Second Look Boutique.
Currently, the store consists of eight workers and an active board of directors. Hicks says they are always in search of more volunteers who have time to donate, and that anyone interested in joining their team should swing by and ask for D.J.
“We are also planning a grand opening for Thursday, April 13,” says Hicks. “People are welcome to stop by throughout the day for coffee and cookies, and to check out our new store locations. There’ll be door prizes and lots of great deals to be had.”
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Mar 29, 2023