Tea Time With Friends

By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, February 16, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

HAMPTON -- China cups and saucers, dainty doilies and sweets for the sweet were the order of the day at a Valentine Tea hosted by the Friends of the Lane Memorial Library.

Accompanied by their favorite adults, a total of 40 children were served at two separate seatings by Friends members as well as student volunteers from Hampton Academy.

Surrounded by soft lighting and stunning artwork (the latter courtesy of HA art students), the guests were served tea and apple juice poured from china pots into their waiting cups. The bounty of refreshments was donated, with many brought in by the Friends.

“The Friends have done the baking, and they’re supplying everything else,” said event organizer, Gloria Goudreau.

Indeed, serving trays were loaded with crustless sandwiches, fruit, frosted cupcakes, sugar cookies, heart-shaped brownies and other goodies for the approximately 70 best-dressed guests to enjoy.

“They all have a good time,” said Friends Past President Dot Gooby, working closely with the organization’s current President, Kris Sawyer.

“I liked the food,” said eight-year-old Isabella Indelicato, who with her sister Sophia, 6, had attended the tea for the very first time. “It was really good. The servers were nice.”

Isabella added that she loved the brownies, while Sophia’s pick happened to be the cookies. They both wore on their pretty party dresses heart-shaped name tags, made from red foil doilies by the Friends’ Barbara Costello.

Following the refreshments, everyone was invited to put their arts and crafts talents to work, creating Valentine’s Day cards out of paper, ribbon, stickers and other craft materials.

Children’s Librarian Paulina Shadowens read stories selected just for the occasion, and it was not unusual to see youngsters with hearts, stars and animal whiskers painted on their faces — perfect accessories for their big smiles.

The middle school servers received high praise from Friends members.

“These wonderful girls have given up their time on a Saturday,” commented Goudreau.

Also receiving kudos was Zesto’s Pizza in Hampton. The restaurant’s owner, said Linda Libbey, was “helping to feed our [servers]. I think that’s really nice of him.” Other local businesses made much-appreciated donations to this holiday event.

Ultimately, the Friends’ Valentine Tea was more than simply sipping from china cups and nibbling finger foods. It was about making a valuable connection between the public and the Lane Memorial Library.

“We get involved with the community,” said Goudreau, “and we want them to get involved with us.”

The Friends of the Lane Memorial Library are currently working to build their membership base. For more information on how to join the Friends, call the library at (603) 926-3368.