When longtime lapidary artists Donna Madej and her husband, James, who has been cutting rocks since he was 11, learned a crucial gem show in Upper Marlboro had not only lost its venue, but the promoter decided to call it quits, they decided to schedule another show. That event is coming to Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company on February 22 from 10:00am-5:00pm.
Familiar with vendor experience of the north east junket, they began the arduous task of recreating the show that many local jewelers, stone cutters and silversmiths had come to depend on. That meant finding a centralized venue large enough, booking artists and planning logistics all amidst their busy holiday season.
“There will be some really cool things to see, such as fossils, minerals and even dinosaur bone,” said Donna, explaining that the event lands just after the Tucson Gem Show, the biggest show in the country for the collectors and jewelry industry. The local dealers and artists will have just returned with all the trending tools, materials, new finds and techniques offered for sale.
“Shows like this are valuable service for hobbyists and professionals,” she said. “It gives people a chance to physically touch and see the actual product as opposed to buying online.”
The family-friendly event will host more than 20 vendors offering a variety of fossils, minerals, jewelry, jewelry-making supplies, tools, info on local workshops, classes and so much more. There will be a grand prize valued over $150, free door prizes every half hour, live demonstrations, a scavenger hunt for kids, and delicious food from Little Italy Sausage Company available for purchase. This is also a great show for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts alike to work on merit badges and sign up for classes. Admission is $6. Active military with ID and children 14 and under can gain admission for free.
James said the entire entry fee will be donated to St. Jude and that the couple chose the charity after their friend’s granddaughter lost her battle with brain cancer at age 3.
“St. Jude does not charge the parents for treatment room and board or transportation. I can think of no greater gift than life to a child,” he said.
Not only will folks learn about the wonders of rock, minerals and fossils, but they will also help in the fight against childhood cancers. Anyone can make an additional donation on event website through St. Jude at www.fundraising.stjude.org/TSDGemShow. For more information about the event and to print a discount ticket, visit www.thunderspiritdesigns.com. For vendor information, call 410-292-7102 or email email@example.com.