Meet Mary Vander Leest

Lynnhurst Garage Sale Guru

Mary Vander Leest is a person of many talents, but a lot of Lynnhurst residents will recognize her name for one reason: the annual Lynnhurst Garage Sale. Mary has organized and managed the sale for “at least the last 25 years” and still enjoys it as much as ever.

Mary developed a taste for garage sales when she moved to Minneapolis. As her interest grew, she began to host her own sales and going so far as to teach a community education class on how to run a sale. Her own sale, which she holds every year as part of the neighborhood sale, brings repeat customers every year. “One woman from Maple Grove brings me homemade Swedish cookies every year” she said. She even has a commercial cash register that tallies each participating family’s sales at the touch of a button. “I encourage people to host a sale. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and reduce clutter,” Mary says. “Plus, it’s a lot of fun!”

Mary moved to the 4600 block of Aldrich Ave S. in Lynnhurst in 1994 from Linden Hills. “I moved here and never looked back,” she says. “I love Lynnhurst!” Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she came to Minneapolis after college at UW-Madison because she enjoyed the city on previous visits and for the lively theater scene.

As a gifted performer, Mary wrote and performed a one-woman autobiographical/comedic show that had successful runs at the Bryant Lake Bowl and New Century Theater. She also was featured in the Moth Radio Hour’s Grand Slam that sold out the Guthrie Theater. In addition to theater, Mary is an avid gardener and quilter.

Gifted and generous neighbors like Mary are what make Lynnhurst special. Be sure to say “hello” to her when you sign up for the garage sale!