Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair supports good cause

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BRICK TOWNSHIP — Brick residents had a an opportunity to get some early holiday shopping done and support small businesses on Sunday, all while helping out a good cause.

The Jersey Shore Animal Center held its second annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair at the Brick Elks Lodge, 2491 Hooper Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25.

According to the animal center’s Board of Directors Vice President Barbara Wingel, the craft fair was such a success last year that they wanted to bring it back this year.

“It was such a hit last year, it was wonderful. So I said we’re doing this every year now, right after Thanksgiving on Sunday,” said Ms. Wingel.

Ms. Wingel said she got the idea of holding a vendor and craft fair as a fundraiser for the animal center after attending a few similar fairs herself as a vendor. Those fairs were organized by Melanie Menzo, of the CHAMP Network, a Brick business that specializes in organizing craft and vendor fairs.

According to Ms. Menzo, who organized both this year’s and last’s holiday and craft festival, there were 47 vendors and crafters from across the mid-atlantic at the event, with about half of them being local to Brick and Ocean County.

“This year it’s a little bit better, there’s a little more traffic which I think is really nice,” said Ms. Menzo.

Some of the items being sold included homemade wreaths, decorative wine bottles, hats, scarves, books, makeup, handmade soaps and, of course, clothing for your pets and homemade dog treats.

According to Jersey Shore Animal Center Director Jaime McLachlan, all the proceeds from the day go to general operating costs for animal care at the shelter.

“It could be food, medication, spay and neuter surgeries, vet bills; anything of the sort,” said Ms. McLachlan. Ms. McLachlan added that the Brick Elks have been generous with the animal center, donating the cost to rent the space back to the shelter each year.

This was also a gift auction, and the animal shelter was also collecting donations throughout the day.

Lorraine Comuso, of Toms River, was there to get some shopping done, and had attended the craft fair last year as well.

“We like to support the animal shelter,” said Ms. Comuso.

Sally Paczkowski, of Brick, had also attended last year.

“They have a lot more vendors this year than last year,” said Ms. Paczkowski. “It’s a good fundraiser.”

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.