By BONNIE GRAHAM
The 351-member Ladies Auxiliary of the Ocean Grove Auditorium Ushers raised almost $60,000 this year for various projects in the historic district including $10,000 for the programming and ministry to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, $7,000 for a golf cart to transport equipment for various programs, $4,500 for shuffleboard court repairs and $2,500 for the lifeguards and junior lifeguards.
A large gathering from the auxiliary met on Saturday morning at the Auditorium pavilion for an end-of-the-season meeting to review their various recent fund-raising events, followed by a catered lunch.
Auxiliary President Lisa Merseles welcomed the women, followed by a prayer by Kimberly Elmer.
Throughout the summer of 2022, a sizable contingent from the LA worked their full schedule of events. They were, as always, easily recognizable in their red polo shirts or red T-shirts with the Ladies Auxiliary logo, and white shorts or slacks, as they volunteered their time and talents as these events. The members of the LA, as always, included residents from the summer tent colony, other locations within Ocean Grove, and surrounding communities.
The LA’s concluded events for this summer have included the plant sale, Independence Day parade, book sale, fish ‘n chips dinner, thrifty threads sale, summer marketplace, ice cream social, craft fellowship night, and art in the park. The Christmas marketplace will be held in December.
The Ladies Auxiliary were the Grand Marshalls at this year’s Ocean Grove Independence Day parade, with 50 members participating. As reported by Nancy Badger, antique cars were to have been used to transport the past LA Presidents in the parade; however, the predicted rain prevented these vehicles from being used, and so these women were driven in “regular” cars.
Kim McDonald spoke of the “great support” for this year’s book sale and cited the enormous number of volunteer hours/days that were spent in sorting, delivering, organizing, selling, and cleaning up after the book sale. Setting up the books, after they were delivered to the Auditorium Pavilion, was a seven-day process, and was followed by the Thursday evening pre-sale, the Friday full-day sale, and the concluding Saturday sale. She said, “Next year, the books will be delivered to the pavilion the morning of June 27, and the book sale will be held on July 7, 8, and 9.”
575 dinners were served at this summer’s fish ‘n chips dinner, with the possibility that there will be two such dinners next summer, one in July, and one in August.
The tallies for this summer’s Ladies Auxiliary events, as reported on their meeting distribution sheets, is as follows (not counting cents, and rounded):
· Art in the Park – $2,548.
· Book Sale – $18,422.
· Christmas Boutique – $6,407.
· Donations – $125.
· Fish ‘n Chips Dinner – $2,010.
· Ice Cream Social – $2661.
· Summer Marketplace – $17,215.
· Thrifty Threads – $11,556.
· TOTAL – $58,396.
Ladies Auxiliary said the funds will be distributed to a variety of organizations. They include $10,000 to the OGCMA’s Now and Forever Fund. This fund supports the ministry and programming of the OGCMA and would be used in its discretion to promote a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth and renewal through worship and educational, cultural, and recreational programs.
Stokes Statue Restoration will receive $4,245. The Stokes Statue has not been refurbished in decades. Funding would finance a professional firm to clean and restore the statue.
A donation of $8,000 will go to replace the roof of Intern and Speaker’s Cottage. This funding will replace the roofs at 57 Kingsley Place and 41 Bath Avenue by a professional roofing firm
The Independence Day Parade will receive $500. and the Summer Band will also receive $500. This funding supports the tradition of the Ocean Grove Summer Band begun by Harry Eichhorn.
Also receiving $500 each were the Fireman’s Christmas Fund, the First Aid Squad, Beautification Flowers and the Youth Fund.
The lifeguards/junior Lifeguards – $2,500. Funding is used to purchase supplies that supplement and support the Lifeguard and Jr. Lifeguard training programs. In the past, the Ladies Auxiliary has purchased items such as paddle boards, safety equipment, oars, and life boats.
· Garden Wall – $3,500. The wall around the OGCMA office, which is cracked and unsightly, is in urgent need of repair. The repair would help prevent leaks, and thereby assist our volunteers who routinely sort in the basement for events, such as the summer marketplace, thrifty threads, and the Christmas marketplace.
· Golf Cart – $7,000. The programming staff at the CMA routinely borrows golf carts and often uses wagons to transport equipment and event items. A cart of their own would assist them greatly in their daily work schedule during the busy season.
· Stokes Statue Restoration – $4,245. The Stokes Statue has not been refurbished in decades. Funding would finance a professional firm to clean and restore the statue.
· Roof replacement of Intern and Speaker’s Cottage – $8,000. This funding will replace the roofs at 57 Kingsley Place and 41 Bath Avenue by a professional roofing firm.
· Pier Sponsor – $1,000. This donation would fund the installation of a larger corporate fish on the new fishing pier with the Ladies Auxiliary inscription engraved upon it.
· Organ Pipes – $4,865. (From Organist Dr. Gordon Turk). Funding for this would add 61 octave pipes for the organ and give added clarity to the foundational sound of the organ. A donor’s plaque would be added near the new pipes.
· Shuffleboard Courts Repair – $4,500. (From the Shuffleboard Auxiliary of the OGCMA). This would provide funding to replace two courts and repair four others and would also include fresh paint and a stencil for members to use for future court markings.