SOMS Flea Market Success Signals Start of a New Tradition

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Elizabeth Payne, the SOMS Flea Market creator. Photo by Lori Sutherland

Elizabeth Payne, the SOMS Flea Market creator. Photo by Lori Sutherland

The first annual SOMS Flea Market was an unqualified success this morning.

“What a great day!” wrote SOMS parent and event organizer Elizabeth Payne in a message this evening. “We raised nearly $2,000!”

Payne adds that “every vendor I talked to made their money [back] and then some. There was a good steady stream of people all day, and at the end, we have a carload of donations for Morrow’s turnover sale, a truckload of books for BookBGone and about 15 bags of clothes being donated.”

“It was a FABULOUS day and many people asked if we were going to do it again. It was the perfect Earth Day Weekend event!”

All in all, it looks like the SOMS Flea was an idea waiting to happen. It all started with Payne getting up in front of the South Orange Board of Trustees during public comments a few months ago and asking, “How do I do this?”

Payne had a vision for saving loads of valuable goods from being thrown away at bulk drop-off (otherwise known as container day) at the Department of Public Works. Instead of going to a landfill, she figured, unused household items could be resold and recycled at a flea market.

In addition, that flea market could raise funds to support a trip to Washington, D.C. for SOMS students.

Payne enlisted the help of the Township of South Orange and its Department of Public Works, the SOMS HSA, and SwapMeetSOMa, and attracted at least 20 vendors — including Sparkhouse Toys (which donated items for sale), Wine Box Gardener and Lickt Gelato — an 8th grade “yard sale” and food trucks.

Most photos are from the SOMS HSA Facebook group. Click on any image to enlarge.


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