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Women's Club celebrates the season with tea

December 11, 2004|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN

Around 75 members of the Hagerstown Women's Club were greeted at the door of the club's striking federal-style home with silver bells and a feeling of Christmas Friday afternoon for the club's annual Christmas Tea.

Mary Secor, 88, of Hagerstown, chairwoman of the event, said members of the Crossroads Garden Club, a division of the Women's Club, dressed each of the first-floor rooms in holiday style according to Christmas carol themes. Pianist Kimbre Tantillo provided live music, bringing the carols to life.

Donned with angels, greens, pine trees and a nativity set, the club's two front parlors depicted "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." The hallway featured a grand bouquet calling to mind "The Holly and the Ivy."

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Hermione Brewer, a club member from Greencastle, Pa., was taken by the musical theme. With tea and a plate full of finger foods in hand and a therapeutic boot on one foot, Brewer danced to "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree."

"I'm dancing with only one foot!" she said with a smile.

Brewer wasn't the only one feeling merry.

"This is lovely, really lovely," said Janice Porter, 73, a club member from Hagerstown. "It makes you feel nice to get dressed up and come to an affair where you feel like a lady."

Secor said the annual Christmas Tea is given by the Women's Club board of directors. Past presidents take turns pouring tea at the serving table in the Women's Club auditorium.

The main table was spread with a crisp, white tablecloth, which Secor said the club had custom-made. Silver candlesticks and tea-serving sets surrounded a centerpiece of white snapdragons, fugi mums and baby's breath, evocative of snow.

In addition to tea, coffee and wassail, members were offered cuisine including spinach quiche, hot crab dip, cream puffs filled with chicken salad, minirolls with ham salad, cheese balls and crackers, nuts and mints.

Dottie Cochrane, 79, of Hagerstown, a past president and current second vice president of the club, was one of the servers.

"Everything is so festive and pretty," Cochrane said. "This is something to look forward to each year."

Members said they appreciated the treat.

Kay Lampard, 73, a member from Funkstown, said she enjoys the socializing, the decor and the music. Louise Banzhoff, 76, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said she likes seeing old friends.

"It's nice to go back in years to the time when the Women's Club did a lot of socials and teas," said Rosalie Ridenour, 63, of Hagerstown.

"It's a very festive occasion," said Betty McCune of Hagerstown, president of the club. "This is our Christmas celebration."

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