By Lauren Wanko
“We hope that people know to come this year,” said Glen Ridge Antiques Show Manager Dorothy Waldt.
The 69th annual Glen Ridge Antiques Show starts tomorrow. About 1,000 people typically attend every year. The proceeds go to local charities but the event managers worry they won’t see that kind of foot traffic this weekend. On Jan. 13 they mailed about 3,000 postcards advertising the event.
“We had a thought about 10 days ago that our cards were lost, we had sent them out in bulk mailing and people starting calling to say, ‘Hey I haven’t gotten my card,'” Waldt said.
The Antiques Show, operated by the Women’s Association of the Glen Ridge Congregational Church, typically sends out the postcards every year and Waldt says they’ve never had any problems. They usually receive a significant number of postcards back due to address changes, but this year only three were mailed back to the church.
“We realized we had a problem on our hands. It’s our major advertising for this show,” she said.
Fifteen days after Waldt expected the postcards to hit mailboxes, she called the post office. She was told that bulk mail goes to a distribution center where it’s sorted before being delivered.
“And at that point they said, ‘We’ll check but you know, if they’re lost, they may be lost. There isn’t much we can do.’ They actually had send a person or several people in that bulk mail facility to physically find the postcards because apparently bulk mail is not traceable,” Waldt said.
The U.S. Postal Service tells NJTV News, “We are committed to processing and delivering the 523 million pieces of mail we handle nationally on a daily basis in a timely manner. Service is our top priority; so we certainly regret not handling the Glen Ridge Congregational Church’s Antique Show mailing according to our established delivery standards. A review of this isolated service anomaly is ongoing. Our goal is to identify the reason for the delayed delivery of this mailing and prevent a recurrence. We received no other reports of similar service anomalies for mailings entered on the same day at the West Caldwell NJ Business Mail Entry Unit.”
“We did receive a call from our local post master on Monday that cards were coming in to the Glen Ridge Post Office and we know of a few other towns that people have gotten,” Waldt said.
Still Waldt says she doesn’t know how many postcards reached their destinations. The postal service says that 2,924 pieces were entered into the mail stream on Jan. 13 at the non-profit standard mail rate.
“We’ll find that starting tomorrow,” she said.
In an effort to advertise the antique show, managers and church members have alerted public school system, town, local organizations and websites and asked them to spread the word about the event.
“The fact too that so many people in the community and in the surrounding communities have helped us, we are keeping our fingers crossed that maybe this was a blessing in disguise,” Waldt said.
This year though, event managers hope to collect email addresses at the door.