Flea market supports recyclingPublished 5:31pm Thursday, February 13, 2014
NEW TROY, Mich. — The Friends of New Troy, a group of dedicated volunteers, have three central goals: To build up their community, to bring more visitors into their town and to spread the word about recycling.
In support of those goals, the group hosts a winter flea market in the New Troy Community Center, located at 13372 California Rd. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the last two Saturdays of each month from October through March.
Organized by co-chairs Delmar Thompson and Janna Riley, the flea market is now in its sixth year.
“The flea market helps to bring people into town. We get a large amount of people coming through,” Riley said. “It helps to generate business for the other small businesses in town, including Molly’s Corner Store and The New Troy Resale Shop.”
The flea market also helps to keep the New Troy Community Center going.
“It’s a vehicle to raise money for the operating expenses for the New Troy Community Center, which is an all-volunteer organization and which relies on donations and fundraisers,” Riley said.
Vendors pay a $10 fee to exhibit their wares at the flea market, and admission for shoppers is free.
“It’s a treasure trove of all kinds of things,” Riley said. “You can get some very unusual tools. Guys tend to hover around those tables. Last time, I saw some old trolley tracks, a meat grinder, all sorts of things, from antiques to contemporary DVDs. You could go home with a lamp, or tools, a snow blower, glassware, dishes. It really just depends on the day.”
There are a number of regular vendors who can be found there every week. Other vendors come and go as their schedules permit.
“We have a core group of vendors who come every month,” Riley said. “For example, there’s Bob Swedenburg, who sells knives, hats, candy and other items. You should see the men clustered around his table.”
“Other core vendors are Gloria Hirsch, the Wallaces, Mary Kronen, Mike Carroll and Ruth Semones,” Riley said. “It’s good to see them every month.”
While an eclectic mix of items can be found at the flea market, it is also a social event for members of the community.
“People look forward to it. It’s a community event,” Riley said. “People come to socialize and see their neighbors. You can have lunch there, and we have coffee, too.”
Because the flea market takes place in the community center, visitors can also learn a bit about the history of the area and take advantage of the two new stores that the Friends of New Troy have set up there.
“The community center is the heart of the community. It kind of keeps the community alive. People can see the historical aspect of the community,” Riley said. We have a display case that has photos and other things, not only about New Troy, but also about Weesaw County.”
“The community center has a book room where we sell donated books, and there is also a furniture room. We accept donated furniture items and then resell them,” Riley said.
The Friends of New Troy also host other programs and events at the community center.
“We have an event almost every month,” Riley said. “A lot of it revolves around recycling. The Friends of New Troy have worked to get recycling to Weesaw Township.”
As the owner of The New Troy Resale Shop, Riley advocates for the “three Rs,” but she has added a fourth “R” or her own.
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Resell. If you don’t need it, resell it!” Riley said.
The Friends of New Troy are always looking for more vendors, so those who have things that they no longer use and who would like to resell them can call Riley at (773) 275-1514 for more information.
The group also has a Facebook page that offers more information about their activities as well as a website at www.friendsofnewtroy.org.
“We also need more volunteers. People just don’t seem to get out and get involved as they did in the past,” Riley said. “I think it’s important to be a part of the community.”