One man's trash was indeed another's treasure at the old Copeland Lumber Yard in Minden on Sunday morning as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge # 2670 hosted their annual Flea Market and Pancake Breakfast to benefit local charities and scholarships. Moms, dads, grandmas and kids were diligently perusing the merchandise: from clothing and furniture to bird cages and hamster runs.
"The sale wasn't supposed to start until today," Jim Schram, past Exalted Ruler of the organization said, noting there were so many people yesterday they opened the sale up early.
"We did quite well yesterday afternoon," he said, adding the organization expects to net several thousand dollars. Schram said he gets a lot of personal satisfaction from the event, and enjoys meeting the people.
Marie Johnson usually spends her weekends selling at the flea market in Reno, but this weekend came down for the event. The Elks charge $20 per booth for free-lancers, and while Johnson specialized in old, usable kitchen appliances, she had a wide variety of knicks to go with anyone's knacks. She said she acquires a lot buying storage unit items, cleans them up and heads for the flea market of her choice.
"I love it!" Johnson said. "It's a fun thing to do."
Proceeds are earmarked for local schools, Student-of-the-Month awards, needy families, as well as the national Hoop Shoot and Soccer Shoot contests. In this program, which emphasizes drug awareness, 72 finalists are chosen from 3.5 million children all over the United States.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks endures as one of the oldest and largest private organizations in the United States. It began humbly in New York in1867 when English-born comic, singer, and dancer Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian began meeting on Sundays with a group of fellow Thespians for their own amusement. Under Vivan's leadership, a loose organization was formed to make sure the larder was well stocked for these gatherings. They called themselves the Jolly Corks, but when one of their number died before Christmas of that year, he left his wife and children destitute. The group decided they needed a more enduring organization to serve those in need.
Today there are nearly 1.3 million members of the Elks in 2,200 local "lodges" found throughout the Unites States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and several overseas locations. Each year, Lodge members and their families give more than 5.9 million volunteer hours to champion educational and patriotic causes in their communities. The Elks annually contribute more than $133 million to charitable programs.