Laurel Highlands Doll Show appeals to young, old, men, women
Dolls, toys and stuffed animals of every age, shape and size will be offered for sale at the 33rd annual Laurel Highlands Doll Show on April 6 at the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department.
“We try to make it special every time,” event chairwoman Cyndi Hawk of the Laurel Highlands Doll Club says. “There's something for everybody of all ages.”
Twenty vendors from Pennsylvania and surrounding states will have Barbie dolls, GI Joes, American Girl dolls, lifelike newborns, antique dolls, stuffed animals, toys and accessories available for purchase.
“Everyone looks for something different,” Hawk says. She notes that many people who come to the show will search for toys and dolls they had as children but lost over the years. Several hundred people usually attend the show.
Trends in doll collecting lean toward popular modern dolls such as Barbie and the American Girl dolls. Lifelike newborn dolls complete with baby-powder scents also are hot right now.
“It's an old hobby, but in the new world, there aren't many people that collect antique dolls,” says club vice president Goldie Cochran. She prefers French and German dolls with finely crafted clothing and accessories.
Cochran sums up the appeal of dolls in one word: “Beauty. Just like men love football or golf, that's the way people are about dolls,” she says. “You just love them.”
The hobby appeals to men as well. “It's not just for women,” Hawk says, noting that many of the vendors at doll shows are men.
Door prizes will be drawn every hour throughout the show. A Chinese auction will feature gift baskets, and a doll raffle will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. “The vendors are very generous,” Hawk says. “We give things away, and we have a wonderful day doing it.”
The event raises money for other charities including the food bank, a women's shelter and a church ministry.
Food will be offered for sale by the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department ladies' auxiliary.
The Laurel Highlands Doll Club has 15 members and meets once a month at the United Methodist Church in Latrobe. The club has been in existence for 35 years.
“We're building again,” Cochran says. “We welcome new members and new vendors. We are trying to keep this wonderful hobby alive.”
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.