A winter wonderland in Cinnaminson

Cinnaminson Elementary Home and School Association hosts Winterfest celebration

Resident Maureen Gaspari helps her sons Lucas, left, and Landon design their own doughnuts in Santa’s Workshop at Cinnaminson Elementary Home and School Association’s annual Winterfest event.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

The cafeteria and hallways of Cinnaminson High School were transformed into a winter wonderland on Sunday, Dec. 2, for the 22nd annual Winterfest celebration. The event is run each year by the Cinnaminson Elementary Home and School Association.

“CEHASA is like our PTA, it’s our equivalent. Everything we do is to benefit the kids,” said Deanna Marz, a CEHASA parent and organizer of Winterfest for the past three years.

The organization, led by parents of children enrolled in either Cinnaminson’s Eleanor Rush or New Albany elementary schools, has held Winterfest each year to raise funds for the schools.

“The vendors pay for their spot and what they sell they keep. Everything else, Santa’s Workshop (and) the food, things like that are all for CEHASA,” said Marz.

Attendees were met with a wide variety of vendors and activities for all ages. Crafters lined the hallways of the school selling everything from handmade pillows to hot sauces. In the cafeteria, the kitchen was busy serving up breakfast and lunch options throughout the day.

One of the most popular attractions was Santa’s Workshop, where kids had a chance to design and frost their own doughnuts, get their faces painted or complete a holiday craft.

Many visitors to Santa’s Workshop also took advantage of Cookie Lane, where anyone who purchased a tin container could walk the length of a long table filled with cookies and candy and fill it with as many treats as it could hold. Of course the workshop wouldn’t be complete without Santa himself who was available for pictures that will undoubtedly make the cover of a number of holiday greeting cards this year.

“We want to thank the support of the whole community,” said Marz. “We all support one another, it’s one for all and all for one. Even though this is for the elementary, we’re in the high school doing it, we’re one big community.”

A great example of this sentiment was another fundraiser going on at Winterfest. At the entrance was a table selling wristbands and ornaments for a great cause. Maddie Harris is a fifth-grade student at Eleanor Rush who was just diagnosed with cancer. She recently began chemo treatments so CEHASA stepped up to show its support. They sold out of wristbands early in the day and Cinnaminson High School donated ornaments it was selling as well.

According to CEHASA volunteer Stacia Heath, they raised more than $250 for Maddie at Winterfest and donations are ongoing. To find out how you can donate, email matty0705@comcast.net or call Heath at (856) 313–8341.

Nanci Lopez, a local crafter, was also using Winterfest to raise funds for a loved one. For the past four years, Lopez has been raising money to help her husband, an army veteran, with issues related to his PTSD. She makes custom plates, coasters and jewelry. Many of her creations tie in with the military or include a message about supporting veterans.

“It gives me something to do while I’m home taking care of him, that’s what started me doing this,” said Lopez. “Him coming with me helps him with his PTSD, talking with people and getting him out of the house.”