SPRINGFIELD — The bargains Saturday were too good to pass up.
Melissa Dampeer had been shopping at Springfield Community Yard Sale and Farmer’s Market for only 20 minutes and she already had an armful of clothes for her two daughters, Kaileen, 10, and Marissa, 8.
The Springfield market — a fundraiser for Springfield High’s new dance team — offered a large selection clothing, household items, furniture, toys and fresh fruits and vegetables.
“This is great because it’s right here in our community,” the Springfield resident said.
The one-day open-air market, which was located in the parking lot next to the Springfield Town Hall on La. 22, was born out of necessity, market coordinator Josh Randall said.
A group of Springfield High School students wanted to start a dance team but needed uniforms. Randall said he challenged them to raise the money, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The students set up their booth, full of clothing, household items, artwork and furniture, to help raise the $2,500 market coordinator Kathie Ballard said it will cost to purchase new uniforms and send the dancers to competitions.
About 20 vendors also participated at no charge, although each donated 10 percent of their sales to the dance team, Randall said.
Another benefit of the market, vendor Ana Randall said, was to publicize what the town has to offer and entice shoppers to visit the attractions, such as Tickfaw State Park.
Saturday’s market drew shoppers from Albany, Maurepas and Ponchatoula, she said.
While JoAnn Sadowsky didn’t set up a booth, she came to Saturday’s event and handed over cash to the coordinators for the dance team.
Sadowsky said she netted $150 at her yard sale that morning and wanted to donate 10 percent to the new team.
“We’re from this community so we enjoy doing stuff like this to support our schools and our community,” she said.
For dancer and incoming Springfield High senior Erica Ballard, 17, the dance team comes at the perfect time.
“I’m looking forward to pumping up the Springfield fans, getting to know the other dancers and getting involved in school,” she said.
Incoming senior Amy Norwood, 17, said having a school dance team gives students another extracurricular activity option.
“This has provided a good opportunity for them to take dance that’s affordable,” Amy’s father, Charles Norwood, said.
The group is already deciding when it will host the next market and is practicing dances for football season.