Laurel Highlands club's doll show will have at least 25 exhibitors on hand
By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Doll and toy collectors of all ages will converge Sunday at the Youngwood Fire Hall for the 32nd annual Laurel Highlands Doll Club Doll & Toy Show and Sale. At least 25 exhibitors will be on hand to display and sell antique and modern dolls, vintage toys and stuffed bears, Barbies, doll clothes and furniture, doll stands, books and more.
“It's going to be a very nice show,” says chairwoman Penny Fetter. Besides providing an opportunity for doll and toy fans to build their collections, the event is the sole fundraiser for the Laurel Highlands Doll Club, which donates a portion of the proceeds to charities such as women's shelters and animal-rescue groups.
Participation in the show is not limited to members of the Laurel Highlands Doll Club. Nancy Parsons is president of the Western Pennsylvania Doll Club, whose members collect Barbie dolls. She has participated in the Laurel Highlands show for more than 20 years.
“The best thing is talking to people and hearing about their collections and their dolls and their childhood memories,” she says. “It brings out the good in people.”
Parsons collects vintage and Silkstone Barbies, which are collector Barbies finished with a stone powder that gives them the look of porcelain without its fragility. “It brings back my childhood,” Parsons says of her collection. She will have a selection of vintage Barbies for sale at the show.
Both Fetter and Parsons encourage parents and grandparents to bring their children or grandchildren to the show. “Having a collection teaches you to take care of your toys, to put them away and treat them nice and not ruin them,” Parsons says. Her own sons collect vintage G.I. Joe figures. Parsons notes that doll shows are for men and boys, too, and that her doll club has several members who are men.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the show. “It's a good place to go if you are trying to fill a collection,” Parsons says.
Attendees also can bring their dolls and have them appraised by an expert for a small fee.
For those who want to beat the rush, the show will open at 9 a.m. to early birds. For a $10 admission fee, the early birds will get an exclusive first look at the items for sale.
The Youngwood Fire Department ladies' auxiliary will sell pizza, sandwiches, nachos, chicken planks and wings, fish, shrimp, snack foods and drinks.
Information also will be available for those interesting in joining the Laurel Highlands Doll Club, which is seeking new members. The club meets once a month in Latrobe.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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