Daniel Boone Optimists host Holiday Craft Show

News photo by Emily Thiel Lalonnie's Heavenly Flowers, Birdsboro
News photo by Emily Thiel Cameron Mays, 10, Basking Ridge, N.J. poses with a sock doll made by crafter Lori A. Kieffer, Kutztown.

Shoppers had a ball recently as the Daniel Boone Optimist Club hosted the 32nd Holiday Craft Show at Daniel Boone Middle School this month.

More than 130 local crafters were showcased at the annual event, where they had the opportunity to sell their handmade products. The clubs mission is to provide hope and positive vision in the life of a child.

The money raised all goes to the children of the community, Maryann Uivary, Daniel Boone Optimist Club co-chair, said.

Gail Jadus and Judy Smith are co-chairs, as well.

The Daniel Boone Optimist Club was founded in 1968 and give back to the community by hosting the Easter egg hunt, Trout rodeo and Halloween parade.

The Optimists also present two $1,500 scholarships to graduating seniors of Daniel Boone High School.

Through fundraisers like the craft show, the Daniel Boone Optimist Club is intricate in the community.

The event has grown throughout the years, Uivary said. Traditionally, the holiday craft show is always held the first full weekend in December and is a one day show.

Uivary said the club likes to keep it affordable for the non-professional, locally based crafters. To qualify as a crafter, all presented crafts must be handmade.

The show provides a wide variety of crafts, and also does so without charging for parking or admission.

There are 43 members in the Optimist Club, who volunteer at the craft show and solely run the kitchen.

The kitchen covers our expenses, Sue Creswell, Daniel Boone Optimist Club, said.

The kitchen offer homemade baked goods, hot dogs, sauerkraut, and hoagies.

They have fun with it, its a good event, Creswell said. All the crafters need to eat -- and so do the shoppers.

Last year, the kitchen began to offer healthy options with fruits and vegetables.

James Getz started with the Optimist Club craft show in 1999 and has been a loyal crafter ever since. Getz makes lamps from wood from the Philadelphia Water Works and thoroughly enjoys presenting his crafts to the community.

Rose DeVitis, Limerick, and Joan Muller, Spring City, showed their Pa. Dutch chalkware at the show.

Pennsylvania Dutch settlers could not afford the porcelain ornaments from Germany so they decided to make their own. The Pa. Dutch used antique chocolate molds to make their own ornaments.

DeVitis and Muller replicate chalkware and produce original stern Belsnickels and farm animals. A lot of chalkware is old and chipped, DeVitis said about why they make the replications.

Lori A. Kieffer, Kutztown, was one of the crafters featured at the show. Kieffer has been making sock dolls for the past four years. She started looking for something to make for her nieces and nephews. I couldnt stop, I made so many

The large dolls take her around eight hours to make, while the little ones take around an hour and a half.

Kieffer said shes searches thrift stores for socks and likes to work with knit fabric.

Shopping for supplies is as much fun as seeing people laugh at them, she said. I like to give a second life to something...[and] it amuses people.

The Daniel Boone Optimist Club also host an essay contest for student, and give Academic Achievement Awards for students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades as a way to motivate the students.

In addition to their community efforts and outreach, the Optimists donate Renders gift cards to five local churches to distribute to a needy family from their church.

The Optimistst meet the first and third Thursday of the month at Keystone Villa in Douglassville.

If you have an interest in joining the club, call 610-385-4953.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.

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