For the past 22 years, John Muir Elementary School’s PTA’s fundraising efforts have centered around its monthly Flea Market, held the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The PTA and a group of volunteer parents are behind the monthly event where vendors sell a mixture of vintage clothing, coins, crystals, jewelry, and antique furniture.
To come up with creative ways to fundraise, an early group of parents in the PTA proposed the idea of a monthly market in 1990.
Flea Market coordinator Jaime Greger said rather than organizing several one-time fundraisers that require a committee to put considerable effort into planning each event, the PTA came up with the idea of a Flea Market.
Greger said the John Muir Flea Market helps to generate a continuous revenue stream of needed funds for the school’s educational programs.
“One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the John Muir PTA,” Greger said. “Each vendor pays a space rental fee and 100 percent of that money goes to the school. Vendors keep all for their proceeds.”
Funds raised are used to support essential educational programs such as art, music, computer, and science.
Additionally, the funds cover the school’s buses for enriching field trips and helps provide classroom supplies need by teachers.
On average, Greger said the Flea Market has about 30 vendors each first Saturday of the month.
“This number fluctuates depending on a vendor’s availability or health,” she said. “Since the Flea Market has moved to our new location at the school, 2526 6th Street, our numbers have gone up and we have received much interest from new vendors wanting to sell their unique treasures.”
Greger said the PTA would like to see the Flea Market continue to grow.
“We are currently putting considerable effort into marketing and community outreach,” she said. “The Flea Market vendors need customers to sell too. The customers want to attend a unique market place where they can buy items not readily available elsewhere. It is a balance, the market needs its vendors to support the school and raise money and the vendors need customers to support them. The marketing efforts of the flea market will enhance and grow this relationship.”
Greger and her team are planning a 2013 calendar that will feature several of the flea markets by holiday or a special event – that schedule will be announced soon.
She said each Flea Market also provides a booth space for a John Muir class to do special classroom fundraising for it’s specific grade level activities.
“The Flea Market reaches outside the school’s walls and is a place where each grade level can raise money,” she said. “The Flea Market can provide booth space for class fundraising, reaching a supporter that the class would not normally have access to. Such activities can instill in each student a sense of achievement through their efforts to help their grade.”
The Flea Market is open this Saturday, Jan. 5. It’s at 2526 Sixth Street, Santa Monica 90405 (at the corner of 6th Street and Ocean Park Boulevard).