A good crowd gathered at Winston Wells Ball Field by 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, October 22.
Clear skies, a steady breeze, tasty BBQ food and adorable puppies for adoption added up to one perfect day for the St. John Animal Care Center’s No Fleas, Please Flea Market fundraiser on Saturday, October 22, at the Winston Wells ball field.
Headed for the first time this year by ACC board member Jason Corley, the event was deemed the best one yet, and the biggest money maker. Flea market fund raisers in previous years netted the St. John ACC — which receives scant government funding — about $4,000 to help cover the cost of its spay and neuter program and shelter operations.
This year’s No Fleas market raked in almost $8,000 for the non-profit animal welfare group.
“It was a fantastic day,” said Corley. “It would not have been so great had all of the volunteers not been so helpful. I was hoping we would raise somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000, so we’re very happy with what we did.”
Flea market shoppers peruse the piles of books available at the fund raiser.
The market ran so smoothly thanks to the 40 volunteers who showed up on the day of the event and the help of Storage on Site, Corley added.
“The huge help was Storage on Site which gave us an extra container to use and made sure that everything was out in the field on time,’’ he said.
While this year’s market didn’t attract a lot of big ticket items like couches and deck furniture, almost 30 vendors rented space in the field, selling everything from plants to dresses. Another big attraction was the children’s table, which was brimming with toys thanks to ACC board member Dr. Elaine Campbell who brought a cache of children’s games to the island in her luggage.
Jennifer Triosi’s popular food attraction Top Dog was back again this year, serving up Sloppy Joes and a vegetarian version of the sandwich she called Sloppy Licks.
Nest owner Missie Hensel also helped the group reach their fundraising goal, explained Corley.
“We had a lot of clothes and didn’t really know how to put them all out there in the field,” Corley said. “Missie and her team came in and organized all the clothes which made a big difference and really increased our sales.”
ACC volunteers also brought a few of the shelter puppies to the event and one lucky dog didn’t return to the group’s Estate Enighed kennel.
“We fostered a dog name Chachi which was very exciting and hopefully he’ll be adopted out,” said Corley.
In addition to raising much needed operating funds for the ACC, the day was also an important outreach effort, Corley added.
“It was really cool, every time I went by the adoption table, the girls were talking about how to take care of your pet and how to walk them and feed them,” he said. “The girls were handing out pamphlets about animal abuse and neglect and it was just a really great educational opportunity for the community.”
While raising funds to ensure the island’s neglected and abused animals are take care of, the best part of the ACC’s flea market for Corley was seeing the community come together.
“The best part of the whole day was just seeing the community coming out and having the opportunity to educate the public on how to take care of their pets,” he said.
Next up for the group is the annual Christmas for Animals, which is tentatively set for January 21. The ACC is still looking for a venue for the annual gala fundraiser, but is considering a theme of Winter Wonderland.
For more information about the ACC or to make a donation check out the group’s website at www.stjohnanimalcarecenter.com or call 774-1625.