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James Daniel O’Connell: The Picnic King

Growing up in the 1860s with many siblings, money was tight in the O’Connell family who lived in the Sussex area, and young James learned early on that sharing was the best way to survive. As a 12-year-old, he put half of his first earnings in a piggy bank and spent the rest on a picnic for more than 30 children. The so-called Gumdrop Picnic was such a success that O’Connell never forgot the joy and excitement of it. After making his fortune in North America and Cuba, the millionaire philanthropist started a chain of free annual picinics for children throughout North and Central America and Cuba, which earned him the name Picnic King. After his death in 1943, the income from his trusts ensured the continuance of his picnics. Every July, the Gumdrop Picnic is held in Sussex in O’Connell Park. The artist: Joel Haynes has been a professional artist for the past 20 years. As a graduate of The Ringling School of Art and Design, he is academically trained in painting, rendering, design, and illustration. Joel offers custom decorative painting for residential and commercial applications. His art and design are represented in almost every major city in the United States as well as in Mexico, Europe, and Japan. He is a highly schooled, well-rounded artist with a great deal of experience in the decorative arts.


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    Sussex, N.B
    E4E 2J7