What a bright, cheerful crowd joined us for A Traditional Victorian Tea last Saturday!
There were several local members of The Red Hat Society wearing their signature red and purple; a few women stunningly turned out in Victorian dress; many women wearing colorful hats and some wearing gloves and pearls; and almost everyone wearing a floral themed outfit. Instead of a dreary day in February, the Tewksbury Senior Center looked like a Spring festival.
The tables were all gleaming with beautiful linens; lovely china, pottery, and glass tableware; silverware; and a charming assortment of tea pots. Each place setting had a hand-made tussie-mussie cone filled with candy and all tied up with a ribbon and a great quote from Abigail Adams.
” To be good, and do good, is the whole duty of man comprised in a few words.?
– Abigail Adams, September 29, 1778
The pleasant, live music wafted over the convivial chatting and catching up. Little by little, people sat down to a scrumptious traditional tea?there were tea sandwiches, scones with lemon curd and clotted cream. And the pastries! In addition to the cookies in the shape of tea bags, there were sweet delights in every flavor, shape and color? all beautifully presented.
Sheryl Faye, the actress playing Abigail Adams, wandered from table to table chatting with the tea goers and staying in character throughout her “visits.” Members of the Chelmsford High School Honor Society graciously served tea and replenished plates of goodies.
Leslie K., POF Executive Director, made a few comments, thanking all the people who worked so hard to put the Victorian Tea together (see Thank You Note, below), and then introduced Sheryl.
As soon as Sheryl Faye started her impersonation of Abigail Adams, all tea party chatter and clinking of china came to an abrupt halt. I was astounded at how quiet the large room with nearly 200 attendees became once Sheryl began speaking — you could hear a pin drop.
Everyone listened with rapt attention as “Abigail” started telling us about her childhood, her young adulthood, marriage to John Adams, and her children. By manipulating her ingeniously designed costume, we saw her change from a young woman to a charming child, to a bride, and to America’s Second First Lady. I had seen Sheryl transform herself into a variety of historical women at other times, and this was another of her stellar performances.
This was the first time Sheryl impersonated Abigail Adams; and it was the first time she used, music, voices and a slide scenery backdrop, which added to the performance. Sheryl rigorously researches the historical women she portrays and then puts together an informative, enjoyable, and often poignant portrayal.
I came away Saturday having learned a few things about Abigail and wanting to know more about this fascinating woman.
After the show, Sheryl adroitly handled a brief question and answer session before closing the show. We were all sorry to see her pack up and return to the 21st Century!
Next on the agenda, raffle winners were announced, and everyone headed home with their prizes and one of POF signature bouquets from the Garden Cart.
It was truly a memorable occasion.
The next day, Sunday, was cold, rainy, and raw. Easy to get a case of the post-winter-holiday-February blahs. However, since I had won a table centerpiece in the raffle at the Tea, I smiled every time I walked past my bright bouquet. It reminded me why we do what we do at POF: to put a splash of color in the life and a smile on the face of someone who needs just that.
With your help and support at FUNdraisers such as this Annual Victorian Tea, we can continue spreading joy, one flower at a time.
A Thank You Note:
Many Thanks to all who made this Annual Victorian Tea such a sucessful event:
. Linda M. and Anne R., who co-chaired the event and made it all happen
. Rita B. and Mary G., who led the Sweet and Savory Team for the food and beverages
. Maria F., who oversaw the raffle
. Linda C., who provided the delightful favors as well as for her continued wise guidance
. Joyce B. and Linda M., who made the gorgeous centerpieces
. Sheryl F., who brought Abigail Adams to the Tea Party
. Nathan M. on the Keyboard, who provided delightful music
.Chelmsford High School National Honor Society Students, who kept the tea flowing and the food replenished
. The Tewksbury Senior Center, who made the wonderful venue available
. All of the POF volunteers on the Victorian Tea Committee, who made this event such a huge success.
And of course, Our Sponsors:
. Whole Foods / Andover Store
. Bright View Concord River
. Harney & Sons Teas
. Idylwilde Farms
. Lindt Chocolatiers
. Muffins on Main
. Trader Joe’s of Nashua
(Please support these sponsors whose generosity supports us!)