NEW BUFFALO — The apple slices were tasty, the vendors were friendly, and the cause was worthy.
The New Buffalo Service League’s 36th annual Arts & Crafts Show was held Saturday, Oct. 20, in both the blue and gold gyms at New Buffalo Middle High School.
“We have over 115 booths this year. Different vendors, new vendors. It seems like a lot of new people too,” said Nancy Gino, a league member who organizes the show.
Service League member Liz Rettig: said she and Elaine Rozycki have been involved in the Arts and Crafts Show since it was held in the old high school on South Whittaker Street.
“We have seen how it’s grown, we have seen the people come back year after year who are absolutely thrilled. I’ve had more people this year say ‘You people have the best food, you people have the best apple slices.’”
Both were kept busy serving those sweet apple-filled “slices” in the school cafeteria.
Rozycki said about a dozen members of the Service League helped make Apple Slices at St. Mary’s Church in Three Oaks about two weeks ahead of the show. They are stored in new freezer at that site.
“We made 12 large pans and four smaller pans ... We started in the morning and finished them in that one day. We froze them and then they were baked here at the school for us yesterday.”
“Nancy Gino and I drove them here on Thursday,” she said.
The supply of slices was starting to get scarce by noon on Saturday.
“They’re typically gone by 1,” Rozycki said.
Also served up on Arts & Crafts Show day were sloppy joes, hot dogs, chicken croissant sandwiches, Amy Hunt Reimann’s special breakfast casseroles, and various dessert items.
One of the show’s veteran vendors, Joan Putzke, said she’s brought her hand-sewn items to the event since 1987 (and has since joined the Service League).
“I did the show a long time before I became a member. I’ve only been a member about 17 years,” she said.
Debbie Palko’s booth at the Arts and Crafts Show was filled with aprons, towels, basket liners, purse holders and peek-a-boos.
“It’s my favorite,” she said of the New Buffalo show that she’s been a part of for four years. “I love the buyers, I love the whole venue.”
Gino also has fond feelings for the Arts & Crafts Show site.
“The high school is so wonderful to us. Keith Carlson, the engineer, tarps both of the gym floors for us. We have our own private janitor who takes care of everything all day. Patty Iazzetto opens up her kitchen and gives us one of our workers. She bakes our apple slices … the cafeteria is awesome.”
Proceeds from the Arts & Crafts Show are the main source of scholarships provided to local high school students.
Gino said the Service League normally awards about six scholarships including the Mary Ann Frey Scholarship, named in honor of New Buffalo High School’s 1962 Valedictorian who died in a car accident that left Salutatorian Kathleen McCotter seriously injured. McCotter was the first recipient of the memorial scholarship.
She said a newly established Irene Brinkman Scholarship is named in honor of a longtime Service Leafgue member who has been involved in the Arts & Crafts Show and other activities.
New Buffalo seniors receiving scholarships from the service league in 2018 are: Natalie Blumberg, James Butler, Felix DeSimone, Sophia Giannetti, Emily Keller, Trevor LaBerge, Jill Patel and Abigail Randall.
Gino said the Service League also helps local families in need.
Other causes supported by the Service League over the years have included: the New Buffalo Halloween Parade; the Blossomland Learning Center; New Buffalo Sports Inc.; New Buffalo Post Prom; the Michiana Humane Society; New Buffalo Rocket Football; and the Berrien County Cancer Service.
The Service League was founded in 1948 as the New Buffalo Junior Women’s Club (the current moniker was adopted in 1964). For more information on the non-profit organization, call (269) 469-1364.