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The Christmas holiday shopping season kicked off with the Charity League’s annual Christmas Mart at the Greate Bay Country Club. Ladies in holiday sweaters arrived early to start their Christmas shopping and to pick up their coveted Charity League Christmas pin.
This columnist made 60 of these cute sequined Penguins featuring a black and white body with red scarf and striped hat. I stopped to chat with Pat Smith in the lobby as she waited for her friends to finish shopping. Cathy McMeniman, Rosemarie Fallon, Nadine Otto, Phyllis Bonner, Barbara Keen and Diane VanStone had done a lot of Christmas shopping as they were loaded down with lots of packages when they came downstairs from the mart. Diane reported their new home that is under construction didn’t get any damage during Sandy.
My first stop when I arrived in the main dining room was to pick up my pins from co-chairs Sue McAfee, Judy Page and Karen Clark. I was sorry they didn’t have the kits for next year’s pin ready, so I could get started. I spotted Colleen Snodgrass checking out jewelry and wanted to take her picture with Santa, but he was on his lunch break. Colleen and Bob had recently completed their two year restoration project of their home in the historic district and were delighted they didn’t have any damage from Sandy. Brenda Thomas wanted to know if I liked the light turquoise dress she tried on and was thinking of buying for the holidays.
Meanwhile downstairs, the pub was doing a brisk lunch business as ladies took a break from shopping for some nourishment. Libby Caine was busy serving lunch and I told her I was at her parents’ home the night before when her mom hosted the Eve Circle meeting. Waiter Joe Tarves was taking lunch orders from Ann Oves, Judy Toth and Heidi Ryder at their table in front of the fireplace. Judy told me she got the last whisky walnut cake at the bake table upstairs while Ann and Heidi purchased cookies and cheese balls. Heidi also got a pretty knit top at the mart. Ann said her daughter-in-law, Toby Oves, will wear her Charity League pin to work everyday in the guidance department at OCHS. Heidi and her husband, Bill, live in Bucks County, but since Bill is an electrical lineman, they are spending time in Ocean City and living in an apartment over Oves on the Boardwalk where they are enjoying the great view. Ann has her husband, Tom, and son Daniel renovating their ground floor apartments that got flooded out during Sandy. Marion Talese was at the next table having lunch with Joan Forry. Marion and Joan have been friends since they went to OCHS with Marion graduating in the class of ’53 and Joan in the class of ’54. They reconnected eight years ago when Joan returned to the area and is living in Margate.
Helen Ammon, Cathy Keren, Fran Critch, Carol Evans and Linda Matthews were waiting for their lunch check when I stopped by. Helen and Fran enjoy early walks on the boardwalk and convinced Carol and Cathy to join them Saturday morning for the Trail of Two Cities. And after all that exercising, they planned to go to breakfast in Somers Point. Shelly Towers, Kathleen Federico, Eleanor Burk, Marianne Mazzoni, Sue Phillips, Elaine McClure, Adrianne Hoffman and Julia Tassone were just being served lunch at their long table when I stopped by. Sue Phillips had me beat as she made 90 Charity League pins this year. Shelly Towers was on a three-week Caribbean cruise when Sandy hit, so she had to watch the action on TV while enjoying beautiful tropical weather. Kathleen Federico sported last year’s holly leaves pin on her sweater. I passed Muriel Elliott on my back upstairs where I stopped to chat with Sue Farrell, who was waiting for her car at valet parking. Sue has many of the Charity League pins, but would really like to have the ice skates made in 1990. I enjoyed catching up with my childhood classmate Barbara Altman when she arrived after her Front Porch radio program went off the air at noon. Jackie Moyer had driven down from Haddonfield to attend the mart when I walked to my car in the lot.
The Exchange Club welcomed their favorite ladies to the Exchange Club Thanksgiving dinner at the Tuckahoe Inn. Stu Sirott coordinated this dinner and he and Warren Iredell presented three bright color carnations to each lady when she arrived. Mary and Bill Woods arrived early and staked out a table for Andrea and Don Paul and Jim and I in the center of the room. I stopped to chat with Sam Capizzi and his daughter, Sharon, who was on her cell phone taking care of business back at their motel. Sam, who was upset when the first woman joined the club, seems to have mellowed since his daughter became a member of this former al-male organization.
Ed Buckalew was easy to spot in his bright red, wool vest he sported with his dark suit. Beverly McCall looked ready for Christmas in a bright red wool dress accented with black piping. When Mary Johnston admired my herringbone cape, she told husband, Don, to get her one just like it at Donna/Gay Dillon Boutique. Anita Culp got her first Charity League pin at the mart on Friday and just loved the little penguin. Anita, who is an accomplished seamstress, has volunteered to be a Friend of Charity League and make pins for next year’s mart.
When President Frank McCall welcomed everyone to the Thanksgiving dinner, Dorothy and Homer Gerken and Pat and Carl Waterman joined us at our table. Frank reported the club gave $1,500 to the Food Cupboard to help replenish their shelves after Sandy. Mike Bloom enjoyed dinner with Tony Fedelli, Don McBride and Ed Sheppard. Tom Giacinto, marketing representative with The Title Company of Jersey, told me they relocated their Ocean City office to Marmora when the roof blew off their building at 701 West Ave. during Sandy, but will be returning as soon as it is repaired. Jim Bauer introduced OCHS senior Emily Johnson, Exchange Club’s student of the month. Emily is ranked No. 4 in her class of 286, is president of DECCA and loves horseback riding and competition.
Emily also volunteers at a riding club for handicapped children. Frank McCall thanked Suzan LaRosa for picking up the beautifully decorated Thanksgiving sheet cake from Chester’s that was delicious and most took an extra piece home to enjoy.