Christmas crafts make Assumption the place to go

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They run the show. From left are PTA Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Vidro, PTA Co-president Janie Jordal, Craft Fair Chairperson Fran Scozzafava, PTA Treasurer Mara Marczyk and PTA Co-president Erin Silipena. All are from Galloway except Marczyk who lives in Absecon. They run the show. From left are PTA Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Vidro, PTA Co-president Janie Jordal, Craft Fair Chairperson Fran Scozzafava, PTA Treasurer Mara Marczyk and PTA Co-president Erin Silipena. All are from Galloway except Marczyk who lives in Absecon.

GALLOWAY – Twenty three was a lucky number for the Assumption Regional Catholic School’s Indoor Christmas Craft Fair.

PTA Co-president Erin Silipena said the floor was busy at the school on Pitney Road.

“We have a lot of foot traffic,” Silipena said Saturday, Nov. 10, the first day of the 23rd annual event. “We get so many who come back year after year. Our crafters have good quality items.”

Silipena, whose triplets, Rebecca, Hannah and Anthony, are Assumption third graders, said the good weekend weather surely helped out.

“People are definitely coming,” she said. “They’re on their way to or from sports. People have been so cooped up for a week, they’re happy to get out.”

While a factor, she said, weather wasn’t the only thing that brought the crowds.

“We have such a good reputation that people would come out in the rain too,” Silipena said. “Students actually volunteer for us too. They come in and serve the crafters.”

One volunteer stood head and shoulders above the rest – basically by not being there.

Dan Freeman, proprietor of Big Bad Dad’s Homemade Jams and Jellies, is in the National Guard and he volunteered to be away from his family and their Pleasantville home to help those on Long Beach Island whose lives were shattered by Hurricane Sandy.

His wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters set up and were selling an assortment of jams and jellies packaged in jars and gift packages.

“This is our second year,” Jennifer Freeman said. “He lost his job and I suggested he try making jams. ‘I never made jam,’ he said. But you’re good at mixing things and coming up with things.”

So he gave it a shot.

“All summer we were giving away jams and jellies,” his wife said Saturday. “Then people started asking if they could buy some. It’s been growing ever since.”

The couple has lived in Pleasantville for 11 years.

“Our corporate headquarters is in Pleasantville,” Freeman said. “We’ve actually taken over the playroom.”

She said they were having a great time at the fair, even without her husband who was missed.

“We’re a good team,” she said. “He says he makes them taste good and ‘she makes them look pretty.’”

Jennifer Freeman and daughter Oona staff Big Bad Dad’s Homemade Jams and Jellies. Jennifer Freeman and daughter Oona staff Big Bad Dad’s Homemade Jams and Jellies.

Norma Boakes and her son, Ean, of Mays Landing enjoy a quick lunch at Assumption. Norma Boakes and her son, Ean, of Mays Landing enjoy a quick lunch at Assumption.

Mary Kate Pedano of Mays Landing and Claire Sooy of the Leeds Point section of Galloway Township sell gift cards and give information at the main entrance. Mary Kate Pedano of Mays Landing and Claire Sooy of the Leeds Point section of Galloway Township sell gift cards and give information at the main entrance.

Sixth grader Michael Sooy, a straight-A student at Assumption spent the weekend spreading the word about the live nativity coming Saturday, Dec. 15. Sixth grader Michael Sooy, a straight-A student at Assumption spent the weekend spreading the word about the live nativity coming Saturday, Dec. 15.

From left, third grader Emma Jordal, 8, made crafts and decorations; Jennifer Saul who teaches PreK – 3-year-olds ran the crafts table at the fair; third grader Aidan Saul, 8, made popcorn Saturday; and fifth grader Brianna Bobe, 10, demonstrated proper use of a broom. From left, third grader Emma Jordal, 8, made crafts and decorations; Jennifer Saul who teaches PreK – 3-year-olds ran the crafts table at the fair; third grader Aidan Saul, 8, made popcorn Saturday; and fifth grader Brianna Bobe, 10, demonstrated proper use of a broom.


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