Lisa Gross
Lisa Gross holds her son, Corson, during a break for cake at the Gross’ bug-themed birthday party.

Lisa Gross really knows how to throw a party. Just ask anyone who has been to her son Corson’s first three birthdays.

The idea to throw large, themed parties for her son came out of personal frustration. The 33-year-old Cape May Court House resident wanted “a little more crazy stuff” at her wedding reception, particularly kiddie food. But after others told her it wasn’t suitable for a wedding, she promised herself to do it in the future.

When her son’s first birthday came around, she made good on her personal vow, throwing a circus-themed bash that not only included cotton candy, snow cones and candy apples, but a clown, face painter and a chimpanzee. His second birthday’s farm theme included barrels full of pickles, goodies shaped like farm animals, a pumpkin patch and a barnyard petting zoo with sheep, a pony and a donkey.

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This year, it was bugs. Magnifying glasses and bug-catcher kits were given to the 50 kids in attendance. Jars were filled with spiders, crickets and other bugs to analyze, and fellow Cape May Court House resident Lois McClure made fondant ladybugs, bumblebees and spider cookies.

“The parents want to come as much as the kids now,” said Gross, a waitress who also owns an invitation company, Fabulisa Events. “I start planning for the next one the day after his birthday. Since my son is the best thing in my life, his birthday is the most important day. What better way to celebrate?”

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  • Local residents, companies and babies took home honors at the annual South Jersey Pumpkin Show earlier this month at the Atlantic County 4-H Fairgrounds in Egg Harbor City. Seaville’s Jane Piazza took fifth place in the Big Pumpkin Weigh Off. South Egg Harbor’s Angela Whitehurst won Best Handmade Scarecrow. Best Craftsmen Booth went to County Seat Florist in Mays Landing, and Best Home Show Display went to Vineland’s R.E. Cummines. The show also offered fun for little ones. Vineland’s Kimberly Costello, 11 months, and Buena Vista Township’s Carrie and Mike Cahill, both 6 months, participated in the Best Decorated Baby Stroller contest. All entries shared first prize.
  • Atlantic and Cape May counties’ Jewish Family Service received 800 bags of canned goods and other items during its High Holiday Food Drive earlier this month. The donations, collected by community members, volunteers and local synagogues, will go into the JFS food pantry to benefit the family service’s local clients in need. Margate’s Leigh Turner coordinated this year’s effort.

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