Thousands of rings, bracelets, necklaces and broaches, hundreds of toy elves, Barbies and tiaras sit in boxes in the home of James Hoffman, president of the Friends of East Moline Library.
The collections had resided until recently in Jacksonville, Fla., with Hoffman’s sister, Rebecca, who passed away from cancer. She’d collected interesting items for decades, perusing yard sales, auctions, estate sales, in-store and online deals, and amassing tens of thousands of objects.
Having inherited the lot, James thought he could do more than pawn off the inundating items or throw them away.
The East Moline Pubic Library campaign to fund and build a new public library is drawing to a close, with the current library expected to close Dec. 23 to make the transition to the new building in 2022.
To add a cushion for building expenses, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, more than 1,500 costume rings will be on display at the East Moline Public Library — children’s rings, cocktail rings, vintage rings, wedding rings, and even some designer Heidi Daus rings.
Rebecca grew up in East Moline before moving away in the 1980s. She bounced around to different states, but the two siblings remained close: James regularly visited, and for decades the two would vacation in Las Vegas each year.
So following Rebecca’s passing, James, vice president of Friends of East Moline Public Library and library board president, asked the board if the fund to build a new library could benefit from selling some of the jewelry he inherited.