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Charity League sells thousands of holiday pins in benefit - Ocean City Sentinel: Arts & Entertainment

Charity League sells thousands of holiday pins in benefit

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Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 12:00 am

The members of the Atlantic County Charity League were hard at work last Friday and Saturday during their 63rd annual Christmas Mart at Greate Bay Country Club.

The event, known best for the annual unveiling of the much anticipated holiday pin, drew big crowds both days, with league members and many vendors calling the Christmas Mart a huge success.

The pins, a cheery green Christmas stocking this year, were going like hotcakes.

Dot Johnston, chairwoman of the league’s pin committee, said members had made 6,254 pins, most of which would go to fill those ordered at last year’s Christmas Mart.

Every bead and sequin and piece of trim on the pin is hand stitched and glued. Finding out what the pin design will be is the highlight of each year’s mart.

For the members, associate members and “Friends of the Charity League” who make the pins, it is a labor of love.

“For a pro with experience, it might take an hour to an hour and a half per pin,” Johnston said.

“For a novice it might take five hours,” she added with a laugh.

Each active member is responsible for stitching the sequins on 60 pins. Associate members and friends then help with other parts of the pin process.

Work has, in fact, already begun on the 2011 Christmas Mart pin, the design of which is considered top secret.

Member Nancy Novasack said traffic at the Christmas Mart was heavy and steady throughout Friday’s opening day, and the gourmet table, where members sell a variety of home baked breads and goods, saw tremendous traffic.

In fact, the tables that are usually stacked high with the breads and cakes looked surprisingly low on stock by Saturday morning. Sales of the breads was estimated at 1,200 loaves on Friday alone. Some members, in fact, went home Friday night after the Christmas Mart to bake more goodies to sell on Saturday. As the doors prepared to open for the day’s sales, Charity League members provided a steady stream of baked goods being dropped off for sale, to help augment the blown-out breads table.

Those who have tasted what the Charity League members bake know why. For those who haven’t, mark the calendar for next year.

Another trademark item is the custom-made Christmas stocking, featuring hand-sewn sequin appliqués. The stockings, like the pins, are ordered a year in advance, because of the time-intensive work done on them. Each handmade stocking, covered with individually beaded and sequined appliqués. Also for sale were a variety of hand-made sequined tree ornaments.

The Christmas Mart is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Charity League. The funds raised by pin sales go to charities and agencies in Atlantic County that help women and children.

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