The spirit and generosity of the theatre community once again shined as brightly as the autumn sun as the 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction blew past all previous record totals to raise a spectacular $681,892 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge was there for all of the festivities, and he gives you an inside look in the video below!
The all-day event on Sunday, September 23, featured 59 tables overflowing with theatrical memorabilia, rare mementos and unique Broadway treasures, more than five dozen stars at the Celebrity Autograph Table & Photo Booth and 207 Grand Auction lots up for bid in live and silent auctions. This year's event stretched across Times Square to 46th Street, through Shubert Alley and along West 44th Street.
The 26 editions of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, which is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, have raised a grand total of $9,870,369. The inaugural edition of the event in 1987 raised $12,000. This year's total was up $137,384 over 2011's total of $547,658. The previous record total for the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction was $574,000 set in 2000.
The record-setting year was propelled by the immensely popular live auction, which ended the beautifully crisp day with heated bidding wars, all in support of a good cause. The live auction raised $298,300 – the most ever, eclipsing last year's live auction total of $201,500 and sliding past the previous record of $294,250 set in 1996.