A Christmas tradition returns with Charity League Mart

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Suzanne Marino For the press

The All I Want For Christmas Is You singer announced via Twitter that she was set to host a two-hour primetime special titled Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All!. Mariah also appeared on CBS Mornings Thursday to promote the special, which will be filmed on her two-night Merry Christmas Everyone! concert at Madison Square Garden in New York on December 13 and 16. She is also due to perform the show at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on December 9 and 11.



SOMERS POINT – The annual Charity League Christmas Market returns after a two-year hiatus, due of course to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members are excited about the prospect of seeing dear friends again and bringing back a beloved tradition for in-person shopping on November 18 and 19 at Greate Bay Country Club.

Funds raised from the Christmas Mart support local nonprofits such as the Donny Fund, Covenant House, Avanzar (formerly the Women’s Center), Atlantic City Daycare, and Family Services Association. Last year, the league gave its selected charities $130,000, raised by selling pins online and hosting a virtual garage sale instead of the Christmas Market.

“We feel extremely lucky to have the support of the community that will come to the Christmas Market. This is our biggest fundraiser for the year, and it allows us to reach out and help the women and children here in Atlantic County,” said Charity League President Andrea Worall.

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This year, the league celebrates the 75th anniversary of its ever-popular holiday badge. Each brooch is handcrafted with each sequin, glass bead and Swarovski crystal individually stitched. According to Worrall, each pin takes about two hours to complete. Over 5,000 pins have been created and more than half are sold before the pin is even unveiled when the Christmas Market opens.

“We think this year’s pin is beautiful, and we hope the friends of the Charity League will think so too,” Worrall said.

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A large part of every Christmas market is made up of shops that come to sell their specialty items. Mary Alice Vesper is helping with the stores this year.

“We are really excited about our vendors and our stores this year,” Vesper said. “Bowfish Kids from Ocean City will be bringing adorable children’s clothing, educational toys and books. JLor Fashions of Margate will be bringing some really cute women’s clothing. There will be wreaths and James Andrews planters. This year it’s also adding bulbs.

Hammonton’s Toy Market will be there with Mary Ellen’s Apples. Search Wayward Garden Supply for ornaments and collectibles. Ventnor’s Bakery #7311 will offer delicious treats, including gluten-free options, as well as coffee.

“A really exciting addition this year is MudGirls Studios which has some of their handmade creations that are really special,” Vesper said. “They will be there on Friday only. On Saturday we’ll have a balloon artist creating all kinds of stuff, and of course we’ll have Santa there.

Of course, the Christmas Market will feature the Fixings Table, where quirky, handmade Christmas ornaments will be on offer, each made by members of the Charity League.

“We spent a lot of hours creating really cute ornaments with glitter and lots of imagination,” Worrall said. “Each year, we offer 13 or 14 new models. They seem to strike a chord with Friends of Charity League and are selling out fast. I shipped them all the way to Texas.


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Not everything is exactly the same at the Mart, Vesper said: “One thing we’ve learned from the pandemic is that a little distancing is a good thing. Our stores will offer a little more space so that no one is cramped.

Gourmet breads are not available this year. There will be other baked goods, cheese balls and the ever-popular delicious buttery spritz cookies to buy from a holiday box. Charity League members bake all the cookies — about 12,000 of them — and they sell out quickly, according to Worrall.

The Greate Bay Café will be offering lunch and dinner specials during the Christmas Market, as well as holiday drink specials.

The opening hours of the Christmas market will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 18 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 19. The Greate Bay Country Club is located at 901 Somers Point-Mays Landing Road in Somers Point. Valet parking is available. For more information, visit charityleagueac.com.

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