Annual Junk-in-the-Trunk flea market helps benefit park improvement fund

Melinda Potter buys a cowboy hat from Bruce Van Genderen during the eighth annual junk-in-the-trunk flea market fundraiser sponsored Saturday by the Broadalbin Youth Commission in front of the school district office. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

BROADALBIN — Fundraising continued Saturday as work on the town park on Union Mills Road is coming into the homestretch.

A steady stream of potential buyers came into the eighth annual junk-in-trunk flea market in front of the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District office, which is one of the ways the village and town youth commission brings in money to fund the park.

The 23-acre park already has baseball, softball and soccer fields, a concession stand, pavilion and basketball court, said Keith Buchanan, a member of the youth commission board.

He said the park is 95 percent done, adding that plans are to include a playground, “growing hardy grass to play on,” a grass-watering system, and a walking trail. A capital campaign is also contemplated by which community groups and businesses can donate and have such items as the pavilion, fields and a flagpole named after them, he said.

Buchanan said the youth commission’s fundraising will cover the entire cost of the park. “We would not use any taxpayer money to build the park,” he said.

Recently the commission received $450,000 state parks and recreation grant through the town, which will help the commission pay down the $1 million loan the town took out for the project, including both principal and interest. The remaining $50,000 will come when the park is completed.

Last year’s flea market raised about $700 and this year’s will probably bring in more than $800, Buchanan said. This year’s market drew a lot of enthusiasm, he said. The sellers had from 7 to 9 a.m. to set up, but “this whole place was almost filled up by 8,” he said.

The flea market is also useful to those who want to buy and sell. “I’m in my late 70s,” said Bruce Van Genderen of Broadalbin. “It’s time to clear this stuff out” of the garage so his children won’t have to, he said.

Town resident Melinda Potter bought a cowboy hat and other items from Genderen. “There’s a lot of variety here,” she said.

Perth residents Mary Van Burnt and her mother, Tokiko Perry, were looking over wind chimes. “I just look to see what catches my eye,” Van Burnt said.

Steven and Kita Murray of Broadalbin bought rugs to replace some that Steven said “have seen better days.”

The flea market is one of several ways the youth commission raises money for the park. Annually it hosts a golf tournament and Fulton-Montgomery Home and Craft Show.

Adding to that, Buchanan said the youth commission this year plans a crafts-only fair on Sept. 21 and 22 at the high school.

By Josh Bovee

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