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East Village Flea Market Launches to Raise Money for Local School

By Serena Solomon | November 11, 2013 9:13am
 East Side Community High School will be holding a flea market every Saturday.
East Side Community High School Flea Market
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EAST VILLAGE — A new flea market is helping high school students in the East Village raise money for extracurricular activities, according to the organizers.

East Side Community High School, on East 12th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A, started a Saturday flea market last month, with vendors selling vintage clothes, records and other odds and ends to raise money for a study abroad trip for students. 

The outdoor market was so successful — raising hundreds of dollars each week so far, organizers said — that the school is now planning to run it year-round to help fund its clubs and programs.

"I had started the flea market to [help pay for] an art history trip to Europe," said art teacher Desiree Borrero. "We are now opening it up to all the different clubs in the school who need [funds] to run their programs."

So far, the market has attracted a few dozen vendors each week, both professional sellers and others wanting to make a quick buck. In the spring, Borrero said, she hopes to add music and food to the mix.

Each week students from the club that is benefiting from the funds raised at the market help run the event, according to Borrero.

"The last two weeks, the girls and boys basketball teams have been helping run it," she said.

East Side Community High School is also sharing the workload and funds with Metro Festival Productions, a professional street fair and flea market business.

Renting a 10-foot square space at the market costs vendors $35, with half going to the school and half going to Metro Festival Productions.

"The community was clamoring for a new market since the closing earlier in the year of the Mary Help of Christians flea market on Avenue A and East 11th Street," said James LaMorte, founder of Metro Festival Productions.

LaMorte, a New Jersey resident, has been running flea markets throughout the city and helping charities fundraise through them for 30 years.

"We have something on each day of the week," LaMorte said of the flea markets at locations including the Jewish Community Center in Brighton Beach and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Brooklyn.

The East Side Community High School Flea Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.