The SJAA Swap Meet for 2015 was a resounding success! There were lots of people who came out to browse, buy and sell, with old friends meeting up for the first time in a long while.
Though the event was scheduled to start at 11AM, there were people showing up even before then, setting up their wares, and others who came early to snag the good deals on pieces and parts of astronomy gear they needed. It was quite evident that this event was long anticipated. And just as it started early, it also ended early. Advertised to shut down at 4pm, the swap meet really began winding down at about 2pm, with people having socialized enough, sorting through the gear plenty enough times, and feeling satisfied that everything, and everyone, who was going to show up had already done so. The hall was cleaned out and cleaned up by 2:30.
Throughout the year, the SJAA receives donations of astronomy gear, usually sets of full telescope rigs with all the accessories. These donations are evaluated to determine if there is a place for it in a club program, such as the loaner telescope program. If there is no suitable place for it, then it’s value on the secondary market is determined, and finally gets listed for sale at either the annual swap meeting or auction. At this year’s swap meet, the club was able to find new homes for quite a number of gently and otherwise used scopes and accessories. Including direct sales and donations of sales proceeds from participants, the SJAA netted about $2300 at the end of the day.
The club very much appreciates all donations, and the board of directors also very much appreciates the time and effort of the volunteers that make these events happen, including the prep work of receiving donations, evaluating them, and finally finding them new homes. The community of amateur astronomy enthusiasts makes it all work.
We look forward to the next swap meet and seeing faces that sometimes become less and less frequent in the hall at Houge or on the hills in the dark of a new moon. We hope we can continue to encourage people to get out, to observe, and to keep this wonderful community and hobby going.
If you attended the swap meet and have any feedback for the organizers, please use the Feedback link on the sjaa website. Even if you didn’t attend but want to share an idea or any thoughts, please send it via the same means.