SEMINOLE, Fla. — The only way out of the thrift shoppe on the campus of St. Justyn Martyr Catholic Church is to pass by two women who are as important to the foundation as the bricks.

“They really are the heart of the place,” said St. Justin Martyr Famous Thrift Shoppe volunteer Lauren Brigman. “Everybody knows them.”

Cil Turner, 91, and Mary Tersigni, 90, make up the tag team manning the checkout table at the thrift shoppe. For 21 years, they rarely miss a Wednesday or Saturday morning when customers flood the popular community store.

“These two? Terrific,” said long-time shopper, Dee Duminuco. “They’re top drawer.”

Cil takes the money. Mary bags the items. Sometimes the order requires heavy lifting – like the baskets full of clothes you can pick up from Brigman’s trailer full of items. A basket load will run you $6.

“We have the best prices,” said Tersigni with a smile.

Other items, like books, cost as little as 25 cents. Shoppers started coming to the church off Ridge Road when St. Justyn’s hosted larger flea market-style sales to generate funds for its ministry. Over the years, a consistent twice-weekly shopping opportunity drew in people from all over. What began as one small building now requires four filled with everything from toys and clothes to seasonal decorations.

Through it all, the duo at the checkout table has remained constant.

“They are very loyal,” said Debbie Lord, a fellow volunteer. They’re an inspiration for us.”

Cil tends to shop while on duty. Mary rarely buys anything. She prefers to hand out handmade butterfly bookmarks to customers after bagging their items.

A visit to the shoppe feels homey and quaint.

“They become part of it, too,” Lord said of Turner and Tersigni. “It’s wonderful. It’s a great community asset I think.”

The St. Justyn Martyr Famous Thrift Shoppe is open year-round every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Tax-deductible donations can be dropped off on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. All proceeds go directly to support the parish and charitable causes in the community.

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