'Tea people' sip and nibble for a cause

On Sunday, the Friends of Shippensburg Public Library held their 9th annual Tea fund-raiser. The Tea was originally founded by Dannie Botlock, who brought the idea to Shippensburg from a garden club in Bethlehem. The event was a sell out again this year, with 48 tickets sold.

Many members of the Friends were instrumental in Sunday’s successful event, as well as other events held year round. Husbands Tom Botlock, Jack Sysko, Don Gardner and Tad Miller hung coats, seated guests and served exquisite finger foods to those at the tables.

Neva Craig, Beverly Florig and Kerri Ferris set up the food prepared by themselves and many other members of the library’s Friends. Jill Corwin and Judy Boeree filled in for master tea brewer Judy Holtry, who was unable to make this year’s event. Rosann Sysko and Paula Yasenchak lent their hands wherever they were needed. All involved were dressed quite elegantly, with outfits ranging from tuxedos to Tad Miller of Newburg’s handmade 18th garb. Nearly all of them also donate their time at the Book Nook, Shippensburg library’s used bookstore.

Monies raised by events like the annual tea, bake sales, chicken BBQs, the Gala dance and silent auction and the recent estate sale have raised over $25,000 dollars in the past five years for operating expenses and upgrading the Wi-Fi system and Internet service.

According to Susan Sanders, the library director for 10 years, the overall capital campaign has raised $3.9 million toward the goal of $8.1 million to enable the library to complete its expansion plans, which will include much more space for the library itself, as well as a larger children’s area and more parking for patrons.

This year’s tea featured music from harpist Anita Smith, and the music was very well received by those in attendance. Smith performs at other similar events, weddings, and regularly at Hickory Bridge Farm. In addition, Smith has the Blythe Spirits Harp Trio,featuring a cellist and violinist along with Smith’s harp.

“It (the harp music) was a nice touch,” said Newberg resident Virginia Knoll, a regular patron of the library and its events. She and others at her table also thought it was wonderful to have so many men waiting on them.

“We are tea people,” said Elaine Damore of Shippensburg, including Jan Nicols and Frances Kish of Chambersburg in her comment. Other tea people included first-timers Sylvia Miller of Shippensburg and Teresa Henry of Perry County, and Louise Pisle of Shippensburg and her three daughters, Susan Fickes; Sally Evans of Carlisle; and Sandy Browne, who came back to Shippensburg all the way from Arizona for a visit. The entire table agreed that they’ll all “come back next year.”

Call the library at (717) 532-4508 for information on events, Book Nook hours and other information. Used books can be purchased on-line by looking up Shipfriends on Amazon.

Harpist Smith can be contacted at harpistanita@gmail.com, or sites.google.com/site/ harpistanitasmith. For information on 18th century clothing and early American games, Tad Miller, a docent of the French and Indian War area at the Smithsonian Museum, can be reached at miller1t@yahoo.com or called at (717)-423-5818.


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