How many places give you the chance to shop for bargains and help some kid get a college scholarship? While philanthropy probably isn't what drives the hundreds who flock to the Lake Worth High School Flea Market each weekend, it is the driving force behind the oddly placed open-air shopping court that offers everything from fresh tomatoes to foreign flags to deeply discounted name-brand clothes to irresistible garage-sale fare. One hundred percent of the money collected from vendors goes directly to the high school scholarship fund, organizer Betty Brown says proudly. Since it first opened under the towering Interstate 95 overpass at Lake Worth Road in the mid-1980s, the flea market has raised more than $1 million for scholarships, she says. But in truth, those who visit the market, open from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, could care less. Like flea market junkies everywhere, it's the chance to get a good deal on a pair of Ray-Bans, pick up some fresh produce, take home a $25 dresser, or just stroll around with a cup of coffee and chat that brings them back time and again. The rumble of 18-wheelers and the occasional squeal of brakes overhead gives the market a special appeal. The urban shade from that freeway structure makes a trip to the flea market cool, even when the weather, like the promise of bargains, is hot.
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