BELMAR, NJ —When Superstorm Sandy destroyed the Taylor Pavilion in 2012, the Belmar Woman´s Club was left without a place to hold its annual craft show and weekly card parties.

On the surface, this predicament may not seem like a major issue, but these events also served as the club's primary fundraisers in support of the community — the most important being its annual scholarship program, which has been helping college-bound Belmar students for some 30 years.

That’s when restaurateur Chris Brandl literally came to the club’s rescue. He allowed its 31 members to gather at his namesake restaurant in Belmar’s Pyanoe Plaza for the Friday afternoon card parties so that they could continue to raise money. The open-door invitation lasted until the new Taylor Pavilion opened this spring.

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To show its appreciation for Brandl’s five years of generosity and community spirit, the club presented him with a plaque of commendation during the Belmar Council’s December 5 meeting. “His restaurant became a home for the club in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and we can’t thank him enough,” said president Carol Brezsnyak. “If it were not for him, we would not have been able to have our card parties and raise money for our community, including the scholarship program.”

Some of the major donations made this year by the woman’s club include $3,000 in scholarships ($1,000 each to three Belmar students), and $500 each to the Belmar Fire Department, Belmar Fire Aid Squad and Belmar Historical Society.

The Belmar Woman's Club's next card parties are scheduled for January 12 and 19 at Taylor Pavilion. As of yet, there has been no discussion on bringing back the craft show.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is a locally owned news organization serving the community. Our advertisers enable us to publish local online news at no charge. Sign up for our free daily e-News, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.