St. Francis Xavier holds Doll Show and Tea

PARKERSBURG – About 100 people of all ages attended the St. Francis Xavier Church Doll Show and Tea in hopes of giving dolls new homes on Saturday.

“We came to see the dolls and, hopefully, take a few home,” said Judy Deem, of Parkersburg.

Deem brought her granddaughter, Lorelei Erwin, 6, of Williamstown, to the first-time event and the young girl immediately set about collecting dolls to buy.

“She picked out eight dolls almost the second we walked in the door,” Deem said with a laugh. “One (doll) is for her sister, but Lorelei had no problems finding what she wanted.”

More than 125 dolls were available for purchase and were displayed on tables, with accessories and in their original boxes.

“These dolls were donated to the church by the families of two ladies who died,” said event organizer Anna Dawkins. “Both ladies collected dolls and their families had no idea what to do with the dolls, so they donated the items to the church.”

Dawkins said officials with the church and the parish members did not have a purpose for the dolls and the items were turned over to the Rosary Altar Society. It was this group of women with the church who decided to sell the dolls during the unique tea event on Saturday.

“The mission of the group is to engage and promote the presentation of the Rosary, but we also provide for the needs of the church,” Dawkins said. “We purchase altar cloths, candles and anything else the parish needs.”

The money was raised through the sale of the dolls, which included locally made Lee Middleton and Lloyd Middleton creations as well as national and international brands such as Cabbage Patch Dolls.

“There are a couple of original Cabbage Patch Dolls, which turn 30 years old this year, in their original boxes, which I think is pretty rare,” Dawkins said. “Most of the dolls we were provided are in perfect condition because the ladies who had them did not play with them, they collected them.

“The boxes are still with most of the dolls because the dolls likely did not leave the boxes for very long, which kept them in great shape for the new owners,” she added.

The Rosary Altar Society members did not have a monetary goal decided on for the event.

“Because this is our first doll show and we were not sure if the community would turn out, we just decided to be happy with what we receive through this afternoon,” Dawkins said.