Lufkin minister opens flea market to raise money to build youth center

Lufkin minister opens flea market to raise money to build youth center

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Cesar Rodriguez is a minister that has seen a lot things that have worried him during his 35 years of living in Lufkin.

"I learned about a lot of things that are going on in the city and that's why I'm concerned," Rodriguez said. "I wanted to open a youth center to educate our kids. Right now, there's a lot of confusion, a lot of gangs, a lot of everything."

Rodriguez knew he wanted to build a youth center, but didn't know how to go about it, so Michael Hineman, of Dream Homes and Drafting, stepped in.

"A friend of a friend basically called and said there's a guy in town that's trying to help with the kids, but he doesn't know how to get through the system of the city or permits or what he needs to get done," Hineman said. "So that's where I stepped in and helped put those parts together."

Rodriguez soon learned building a youth center was expensive.  One day he noticed some empty land behind where he was constructing and came up with an idea.

"I asked what they were doing with this land and they said nothing, so I asked them to let me do a flea markets a way to raise funds," Rodriguez said.

The community has jumped on board with the idea. Everyone from Mayor Bob Brown to Judge Bob Inselmann have expressed that they want to pitch in and help out with flea market and youth center.

"There's lot of people in town that are willing to offer their time and talents to help out a good cause," Hineman said.

Although the flea market is small right now, Rodriguez said he believes the community will help it grow.

"We expect it to grow up big and we're really happy about it," Rodriguez said. "We have a great community and we are working together for these goals and I think it's going to be accomplished."

Rodriguez asks if anyone is interested in becoming a vendor at the flea market, to contact him at (936) 635-7402.

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