Major Charity Craft Show This Weekend. Easter Is Next.

During times when local charities need it the most, Norman and JoAnne Schaut of the Jersey Shore Artisans Guild are doing more than their part. The Schauts of Ocean City produce huge, highly attended craft festivals here. All profits from these shows go to non-profit groups that assist the needy.

Over $90,000 has been donated to the Ocean City Food Cupboard and Clothes Closet. This amount will exceed $100,000 after the Schaut’s upcoming show at the Music Pier April 4-5. Other charities that receive substantial support include the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer Research and the Atlantic Riding Center for Handicapped Children.

“The Craft Show financial gifts are the largest single source of income that we receive,” said Ecumenical Council Treasurer, William E. Bender in a recent tribute to the Schauts. “These funds are used to support both the Food Cupboard and Clothes Closet in Ocean City. When we think about the magnitude of these gifts and the thousands of poor and needy persons who have benefited from their generosity it brings real joy into our world!”

Norman Schaut recalls the tight economic times of the 1930s. He was a child at the time and the country was emerging from the Great Depression.

“We all looked after each other,” he said. “I remember my parents helping our neighbors with food and money when they ran short. I learned then to be thankful for what we had and the importance of helping those less fortunate.”

Norman Schaut is the founder of Atlantique City, the largest indoor art, antique and collectibles convention in the world. After selling the event to a major publishing company, he and his wife, JoAnne, decided to establish a series of quality craft festivals and “give back” to the area they loved by donating all profits to charity. Their Ocean City fairs are firmly juried by a committee to ensure that only the finest artisans participate. The Schauts visit venues from Maine to Florida enlisting an array of unique handcrafters and artists who offer dramatic creations for every member of the family.

The Spring Festival will feature a unique array of holiday specialties plus the finest in practical gifts and home decor. These include fine art and photography, custom jewelry designs, Easter bunnies and baskets, spring fashions, gourds, potpourri, serving pieces, children’s wearable art, gourmet foods and much, much, more.

Shop and enjoy this colorful, annual event on Sat., April 4 and Sun., April 5 in the historic Music Pier auditorium. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. There is plenty of free parking in lots at 8th St., Moorlyn Terrace and 9th St. Charitable admission donation is $3, children are free.

EASTER IS JUST a week away. Here is a check list of events.

Sat., April 11 at 11 a.m., the WOOFIN’ PAWS PET Fashion Show and Talent Competition is set for Carey Stadium, 6th St. off Boardwalk. A $5 entry fee for individual entries and $10 for multiple entries benefits the Ocean City Humane Society. Spectators are free but may make a donation to the Society if they so choose. Call 525-9300 for information.

THE GREAT EASTER EGG HUNT is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sat., April 11th on the Beaches between 11th and 13th Sts. There are five age groups: 1-2 at 11th St., 3-4 and 5-6 at 12th St., 7-8-9 years at 13th St. Only ages 1-2 may have an adult accompany them into the area. Entry is free. No need to register ahead of time.

BREAKFAST WITH EASTER BUNNY is set for April 4 and 11 from 9 a.m. till noon at the Chatterbox, 9th and Central Ave. Order from menu. Take photos with Bunny. At noon the Bunny will be stationed in a lifeguard stand at 9th and Asbury for photos.

Also on the 11th, SHOPPERS should look for egg signs in participating Asbury Ave. stores to receive prize filled eggs and Eggstra special savings.

The City’s annual EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE is set for 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunday at the Music Pier auditorium, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Guest speaker will be W. Wilson Goode, former mayor of Philadelphia. Students of the Nancy Fox Studios will sing at the service.

EASTER FASHION COMPETITION begins at 1 p.m. on Easter Sunday in front of the Music Pier. Laurie Kohr, former Miss New Jersey, will emcee. Ted Prior’s folk band, Early Morning Reign, will entertain at the reviewing stand. The Easter Bunny will give chocolate bunnies to children. Prizes will be awarded to best dressed children, couples, man, woman, teens and for bonnets. In the event of bad weather, the contest will be held inside the Music Pier. Call            609-525-9300       for information on Easter Weekend events.

COMING SOON: Ocean City’s Big MIRTH & EARTH DAY WEEKEND, featuring Doo Dah activities and our Earth Day Celebration: Here’s a quick rundown:

Fri., April 17th: Basset Hound Olympics 1 p.m. at Tabernacle grounds, 6th and Asbury Ave, admission free;

Sat. April 18, world renowned humorists, DR. JOEL GOODMAN and MARGIE INGRAM of the Humor Project talk about how to use humor to cope with aging and economic anxieties, 7 p.m., Henry S. Knight, Public Works Building, 12th and Haven Ave., admission free thanks to a grant from the Ocean City Library.

Sat. April 18: the zany Doo Dah Parade with BILL DANA, grand marshal, starts at 6th and Asbury Ave., goes to 12th and Asbury and ends at boardwalk in front of the Music Pier.

Following the Parade, SOUPY SALES presides over our annual PIEASCO when pie in the face enthusiasts sit in grandstands and gleefully smoosh each other.

Sun., April 19: OCEAN CITY’S EARTH DAY CELEBRATION from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bayside Center, 520 Bay Ave., features exhibits from more than 30 environmental and allied organizations. Action begins at 10 a.m. when members of the Island End to End Bike Tour conclude their ride at the Center. At 11 a.m. there is a welcome ceremony followed by a performance by the Turtle Singer. At 12 p.m., there will be presentation of environmental awards and recognition of prestigious guests. At 12:45 p.m., the Philadelphia Zoo will entertain. At 2 p.m., Smithsonian recording artist and story teller, Jim Albertson, will perform. There will be Arts and Crafts, Environmental Displays, Food and Refreshments, music and entertainment including selections by the World’s Only Wind Chimes Band. Back Bay Boat rides for a fee will be available. Exhibitors will include the Stockton Marine Science Club, The Wetlands Institute, N.J. Academy of Aquatic Sciences, Project Porchlight, the Surf Rider Foundation and more. The groups will distribute information and giveaways. Free parking and trolley service to and from Bayside will be provided from the Sixth St. Parking Lot adjacent to the Fire House. For information, access www.ocnj.us/earthday.

MACBETH! The Ocean City Repertory Theater presents Macbeth 7 p.m. on Fri., April 3 at Denovum, 910 Asbury Ave. The production will be presented “in the round.” Admission is $10. Call            609-770-1935       for information.

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