ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Residents of the Care One Care Center on Route 36 celebrated all their winners in the Monmouth County Fair Arts and Crafts competitions with an awards reception at the care center’s dining room last week.
This is the 25th year that care center residents have been submitting entries in the County Fair through the center’s Recreation Department. Director Cathy Kane said the program started when she was the arts and crafts instructor who conducted classes and submitted entries. While there is no specific art teacher on staff any longer, Kane said the recreation department has daily arts and crafts activities in which residents can participate and work on community projects. Since many residents also do knitting, crocheting or other handiwork on their own, Kane said she invites them to submit their works in the Fair competition as well.
Entries have won ribbons in every contest for the past quarter century, the director said, with blue ribbon winners every year but one. There have always been second and third place finishers in the competition which draws hundreds of entries each year.
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This year, Marge Anderson won awards for every one of the four entries she submitted, taking a first for a knitted scarf, a second for baby blankets, a third for an afghan, and honorable mention for a crocheted cap. Anderson also regularly makes blankets for hospitalized veterans.
Fran Chmielewski took a second place award for a jigsaw picture. Known as the Jigsaw Master at the Care Center, Chmielewski has numerous large and intricate puzzles of all designs she has put together and which are framed and displayed in the Care Center.
Ruth Loughry, Barbara Mead, Brenda Downes and Roberta Armetta won the blue ribbon for Milking Betsy, a large wooden decorative piece.
“We had ten entries submitted this year,” Kane said, noting “We enter every year because it is such a morale booster for all the residents. Recreation Assistant Karen Cohen works closer with one group of residents doing projects in which everyone can participate, regardless of physical abilities. Residents are all excited to participate, and always eagerly await the results. Our celebration after the announcement is a re-enactment of the historic Monmouth County Fair program complete with carnival food such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and a congratulatory cake. And every resident receives a certificate to recognize their participation and enthusiasm.”