Lots of people donate money to charity.
An elite few, such as Norman and JoAnne Schaut, raise tens of thousands through their charitable events.
For the past 10 years, the Schauts have organized the Ocean City Fine Art and Handcraft Festival; the latest takes place Saturday. The couple figures $170,000 has been raised by the event has been donated to four charities during the past decade.
Beneficiaries have included the American Red Cross and the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. This year, Gilda’s Club South Jersey and the Church of the Redeemer in Longport, which was destroyed by fire last month, will be among the organizations benefiting from funds raised through admission fees and booth rentals at the crafts fair.
Norman Schaut thinks all the work is worth it.
“The more people you can help, the better you feel. It’s almost selfish. We feel so good,” Norman Schaut said.
Radio host Harry Hurley, of Egg Harbor Township, runs the “Hurley in the Morning” golf tournament, which has raised more than $300,000 that has been distributed among dozens of charities.
In Lower Township, the Brodesser family has staged a variety of events at their Beachcomber Camping Resort, resulting in more than $320,000 raised for the The Cape Regional Medical Center since 2000.
For the Schauts, raising cash for charities was a way to keep busy and to give back to the community.
Norman Schaut ran the Atlantique City antiques expo for 15 years in Atlantic City, until he sold it in 2001. Schaut retired, but he was not a fan of sitting around and doing nothing, so he and his wife, JoAnne, 65, started to do the legwork pretty quickly for an arts and crafts fair. Their juried shows have become an Ocean City institution during the past 10 years.
Four shows are held annually, including the one 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sports and Civic Center and at Carey Stadium between Fifth and Sixth streets just off the Boardwalk in Ocean City.
Michelle Chalmers, CEO of Gilda’s Club South Jersey, based in Linwood, said the organization is able to provide free support, education and hope to men, women and children touched by cancer with the help of people such as the Schauts.
Cape Regional Medical Center’s Cancer Center is named after Thomas and Claire Brodesser. Thomas Brodesser Jr. was a longtime member of the board of directors and is himself a cancer survivor.
He and his wife have personally donated about $1.3 million to the hospital, including a $1 million gift to the cancer center in 2008, said Ken Gomez.
But in 2001 the family, which has owned the Beachcomber Camping Resort for 37 years, got campers involved by organizing an auction with a volunteer auctioneer who was a camper, said the Brodessers’ daughter Tammy Gomez, 50. She and her husband, Ken Gomez, 50, have run the campground for 15 years.
The first year the campground raised about $9,500 said Ken Gomez.
Now the campground raises more than $25,000 a year through a multi-event effort, using the volunteer help of staff and campers who run a polar bear swim in the lake around opening day, April 15; an auction supported by donations from local businesses, which donate gift certificates, items and services; a carnival with dunk tank, food and games; and a haunted hayride in October, just before the campground closes.
The events are for about 4,000 campers that populate the 550 campsites at the resort, Tammy Gomez said. They are not open to the general public.
Hurley learned through his parents, especially his father Thomas Hurley, what it meant to be charitable.
Even though they had five children of their own, Hurley’s parents still took in other children who needed homes. As an adult, Hurley entered the big leagues of charitable fundraising with the establishment of the golf open. Five events have been held since 2008 on the third Friday of June each year at the Mays Landing Golf & Country Club. They have raised more than $300,000 and helped dozens of charities.
“There are a lot of charities that work really hard, and they give everything to one entity. We commend them for it. We respect them on every level.
“I look at it differently. I want to help as many charities as we can. We usually name three or four (charities) about a year in advance, and they will receive up to $10,000 each. Then, for another 50 or more charities, we will give other grants — some are $5,000, some are $2,500, many are $1,000, many are $500,” said Hurley, 52.
Over the years, Hurley raised money during his radio show for places in need, such as Holy Spirit High School and Sister Jean’s Kitchen in Atlantic City. In 2007, the idea came to him to do it in an organized way with a charitable foundation.
Hurley was told he would be lucky to raise $5,000 during his first golf tournament, but he knew he could raise $8,000 at one time over the radio, so he had some confidence. He raised $37,500 with his first event.
The golf tournament takes a year to organize. One of the reasons Hurley recently switched from doing an afternoon show on WOND-AM 1400 and returned to a morning show on WENJ-AM 1450 on July 2 was that the morning shift works better for organizing the golf tournament and his annual dinner, where he started holding a silent auction for charity this year.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cape May and Atlantic Counties, CASA, received $10,000 last year from the tournament.
Hurley was told that the donation kept the organization from laying off a staff person. The donation from Hurley’s golf tournament ranks up there among the Top 10 the organization has ever received, said Karen DeRosa, director of community development for CASA for Children, based in Somers Point.
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