© Gary Kean
Ben Peckford, 11, was one of several young people who were selling their handmade arts and crafts for charities at the Wonderful Fine Market in Corner Brook on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
When Ben Peckford decided to set up a table at the Wonderful Fine Market in December, little did he know he was making an indelible impression on the event’s organizers.
At the time, the 11-year-old boy from Corner Brook was the only youth selling wares at the market.
It wasn’t just his age that made Peckford stand out. He was donating all of the money from the sales of his homemade wares to charity.
The Wonderful Fine Market had been held nearly every Saturday throughout the fall. Since Christmas, its incarnations have been a bit more sporadic and it will only be held during special events between now and when the weekly fairs resume in the autumn.
For the last one of the winter season, the organizers of the Wonderful Fine Market decided to give it over entirely to local youth who make their own art and crafts. Held this past Saturday, the “Cool Kids Doing Great Things” market drew 15 groups of young people who all donated their proceeds to charities of their own choice.
“I’ve been doing craft fairs for about three years now,” said Peckford at the fair held in the downstairs area of the Royal Canadian Legion in Corner Brook. “The last two were at my school, C.C. Loughlin and at Humber Elementary.
“This is pretty cool. It’s something different.”
Peckford had a wide range of items, mostly forged from polymer clay baked in his kitchen oven at home, including magnets, necklaces and pins.
The money he took in was split between two causes, the Janeway Children’s Hospital music therapy program and Play Canada, an international development agency supporting social justice causes in 69 countries around the world.
Nikki Hollohan, one of the local artists who created the Wonderful Fine Market idea, said there will definitely be another all-kids market some time in the future.
“The response has been phenomenal,” she said, referring to the jam-packed venue. “We had such a crowd. It was so rewarding, the kids are loving it and the sales have been great. And it’s all for charity.”
The young vendors, all of whom make the items they sell, included church groups and friends who get together regularly to do arts and crafts, as well as families and youth who do creative works all on their own.
In all, more than $1,000 was raised for the various charities during the four-hour market.
The next all-children’s Wonderful Fine Market, said Hollohan, will have to move to the larger, upstairs dining hall section of the Royal Canadian Legion.