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Antique Show Transports Back in Time and Raises Money for Kids

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The Annual Million Dollar Antique Show kicked off their 35th showcase with an opening night preview on Friday. The event put on by the Binghamton SERTOMA (service to mankind) Club is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year from the biggest Sertoma Club in Broome County.

Since it started in 1982, they have raised more than $500,000 and Organizers expect to raise around $20,000 this year, the same amount as 2016.

Proceeds go to benefit Camp Sertoma in Kirkwood, which is a summer camp program for kids. The money goes to help with both capital improvements and programming.

In addition, a large number of proceeds in the past have gone to the UHS Audiology Department. On a broader scale, the International Sertoma focuses on speech and hearing.

The SUNY Broome Ice Arena was lined wall to wall with dealers showing off and selling their products, ranging from jewelry, coins, sports memorabilia and more.

For some of the dealers, going to the Binghamton Antique Show is more than just about making money.

"It's not like we're out to make the big dollar, we'd rather make the people happy," said Sharon Nuzzo, Antique Dealer.

Nuzzo and her husband Joe have been married for over 40 years and have spent the last 35 of them in the antique business. They've collected thousands of items and love when they can help a customer find something unique or rare.

"I love finding the stuff you can't find, rare pieces that make the customer happy," said Nuzzo.

Some of her collectibles such as lunchboxes or milk jug, which date back to the 1950's and 1960's, bring people back to when they were a kid.

"The lunchboxes goes back to our childhood when we took the lunch boxes to school. The milk bottles, this used to be back when the milkman would bring bottles to your house but it just brings back that memory," said Nuzzo.

The couple has been at the Binghamton show for the last 9 years and said they've learned a thing or two since then.

"You can't just sell one item, you need to diversify," said Nuzzo.

Other dealers like Michael Shor, who specializes in paper products, believes antiques are a way to bring history to life.

"People that collect antiques are also very interested in history," said Michael Shor, Antique Paper Dealer.

He has thousands of postcards that date back to the early 1900's and said the fact that the items he collects were meant to be used and thrown away, makes them that much more unique.

"It was tossed away in big numbers and only little bits of it has survived and that's what I have," said Shor.

Shor has been dealing for the last 18 years and been at the Binghamton show for the last 12. He believes you can find almost any historic event from the 1900's through the present on a postcard.

"The entire world is captured on postcards, it's fascinating," said Shor.

He also has a collection of European Trade Cards, which were put in scrapbooks. These items date back even further than Nuzzo's, some of which were used in the late 1800's. 

Once Shor gets a scrapbook he must soak a page under water to loosen the "flour and water glue," that was used to attach the Card to the book. The process can take hours but it's worth it in the end.

"I put them up on eBay, they sold very well 18 years ago and so I continue to do it and after 6 months I ran out and I had to buy more," said Shor.

Another longtime Antique Dealer, John Darrow, has been at the Binghamton Antique Show since it began. He also sells items that tell a story.

He has an extensive collection of Chinese and Japanese Porcelain, which he says played a big role in the creation of America. The dishes were used to protect the more expensive cargo - spices, tea, and silk - when they were shipped to America.

"At the end of the American Revolution, Great Britain closed all ports of trade to the United States and the only Nation that would actively trade with us was China so they really are responsible for us being a Nation," said John Darrow, Antique Dealer.

For Darrow, the chance to teach others through his products is an invaluable experience.

"Education is the single best investment you ever make in your own life and when you learn about your history it comes back to you tenfold," said Darrow.

At the end of the day, Darrow says it's one of the most diverse antique shows in the country.

"There's a little something for everyone and it's a walk through time," said Darrow.

Antique Show Schedule

  • 4/22 Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • 4/23 Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For more information on the Binghamton SERTOMA Club or more details on the weekend, you can visit their website.