It all came together at WeAJa event

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It all came together at WeAJa event


The opening ceremony of WeAJa in Seoul.

By all accounts, the sixth annual flea market WeAJa was a big success.

The event yesterday, which drew donations from well-known politicians and celebrities, was aimed at helping underprivileged children and the environment.

Organizers said more than 410,000 sellers and buyers flocked to the four locations of the event: Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul; Daejeon City Hall; North Jeolla Provincial Office in Jeonju; and BEXCO, near Haeundae beach in Busan.

The event was sponsored by the JoongAng Media Network and the Beautiful Store.

The proceeds from the four markets will be donated to underprivileged children supported by We Start, a charity organization run by JoongAng Media Network.

In Seoul, a donation by Doosan Bear’s manager Kim Kyung-moon recorded the highest price - 3.7 million won ($3,300). The donation was crafted to honor the gold medal of the Korean national baseball team in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, with all team members’ signatures printed on it.

In the Seoul market, about 660 volunteers from 44 organizations helped with car parking and cleaning up after the estimated 280,000 visitors.

Choi Sung-hee, former member of the singing group S.E.S., sang the original sound track for the musical performance “42nd Street” on stage as a PR representative of We Start.

In Jeonju, where 40 organizations, companies and banks participated in the market with 200 private vendor stalls, about 30,000 visitors attended the venue.

“The WeAJa market is a campaign for saving energy due to climate change,” said Song Ha-jin, the mayor of Jeonju. “I hope this market will be a stepping stone to encourage more Koreans to save and share their goods.”


An expat works at booth for the Seoul Global Center.

At the Busan market auction, attention was focused on a Rolex watch donated by the president of Beautiful Store’s Busan and Ulsan branches. The watch sold for 1.05 million won.

“After I use this watch for a couple of years, I will donate it again to this market,” said Jeon Byeong-yeol, the winner of the watch.

In Daejeon, a tea set donated by the first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, was sold at the highest price, 1.2 million won.

In Daejeon, so many people lined up two hours before the opening of the event that the market started an hour ahead of schedule.

The eco-market featured expat sellers and organizations with their exotic items. At the corner of the market in Seoul, the Chinese Embassy was selling traditional craft work donated by the Chinese ambassador, attracting many.

“The most expensive craft was a Chinese tea set, which was valued at 60,000 won,” said Feng Fang, an official at the embassy.

In the stall for Seoul Global Center, where six teams of expatriates displayed their local items, a Kenyan businessman attracted many Korean females to ornaments and accessories, such as a wooded zebra toy and a bead bracelet.


Children sell books yesterday at BEXCO, Busan

“I came to Korea two months ago in a partnership with a Korean businessman,” said a man named Patrick, who came from Kenya. “The crafts were all made by me and a friend of mine.”

Five officials from the U.S. Embassy donated 200 English books.

International volunteer organizations such as Before Babel Brigade Korea and COoperation and Participation In Overseas NGOs, sold items at the Seoul market.

“While we are selling goods, we can promote our organization to visitors as well,” said Kim So-yeon, an official at the COoperation and Participation In Overseas NGOs.

The total proceeds from the four markets was $143 million, according to the JoongAng Media Network.

By Kim-Heejin []

중앙일보가 서울·부산·대전·전주 등 4개시와 공동주최한 '2010 위아자 나눔장터'가 17일 일제히 열렸다. 올해로 여섯번째를 맞은 '위아자 나눔장터'는 수익금 전액이 저소득층 어린이를 돕는 데에 쓰이는 국내 최대 나눔장터다. '지구를 지켜요! 사랑을 나눠요!'라는 주제로 열린 이번 장터는 자원 재사용과 나눔문화의 확산, 어린이 경제·환경 교육을 겨냥해 개최됐다.

서울 상암동 월드컵 경기장 북측광장에서 열린 서울장터에서는 행사 시작 전부터 많은 이들이 몰려 북새통을 이뤘다. 개장식 전 무대에서는 위스타트 홍보대사인 5인조 남성그룹 '크라잉넛'과 뮤지컬 '브로드웨이 42번가'의 주인공인 가수 '바다'가 축하공연을 선보여 열기를 뜨겁게 달궜다. 이어진 개장식에서는 조은희 서울시 정무 부시장, 아름다운 가게 손숙 대표, 최경석 위스타트 운동본부 회장 대행, 나완배 GS칼텍스 사장 등의 내빈들이 참석해 장터 개장을 축하했다.
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