Friends Hosts Another Successful Valentine Tea

By Liz Premo, Publicity

Friends of the Lane Memorial Library

February 11, 2012

HAMPTON -- The Friends of the Lane Memorial Library held another successful Valentine Tea on Saturday, much to the delight of the children who came dressed in their finest party outfits.

A delectable array of desserts, tea, hot chocolate and juice was served to both kids and their adult guests during two seatings by 14 volunteers from nearby Hampton Academy.

The event was sweetened by the opportunity to hear stories read aloud by Children’s Librarian Paulina Shadowens.

Among the holiday-inspired titles Shadowens selected were “Love Bugs,” “The Biggest Kiss” and “Happy Valentines Day, Curious George.”

Guests also enjoyed making Valentine crafts that included a decorated picture frame and a magnet made of multi-sized heart-shaped foam in red, pink and white.

“I like the crafts,” said 4-1/2 year old Skyla Mace, who came with her mother, Sandy.

“It’s just amazing,” said Sandy. “It’s really neat that they do this for the community.”

Kyla Bodnar also enjoyed the crafts, as well as sipping hot chocolate with her grandmother, Mimi, her specially-invited guest.

“I wanted to take her because she hasn’t been here,” said Kyla.

“I’m so happy you did!” said Mimi. “This was really fun.”

Wearing sparkly ruby slippers, three-year-old Evie Cyr enjoyed dancing on the platform in the Lane Room, near the face-painting station.

“She likes getting dressed up,” said her mother, Hannah. “She liked all the sweets.”

Emma Clifford, 3, is a big fan of library staff member Darrell Eifert, who took a break from his responsibilities as Head of Adult Services to take photographs of the festivities.

Her mother, Diane, said Emma made it a personal mission to deliver a heart-shaped cookie to Darrell, at least once if not twice.

Diane also said that Emma is a huge fan of reading books in general, due mainly to her attendance at the Lane Library’s regular story times.

Serving tea and desserts, painting faces and passing around the crafts provided just as much enjoyment for the younger guests’ peers from the junior high school.

“I’m having fun. It’s great to help out with the community,” said sixth grader Kate MacHardy, who found her face-painting “customers” to be very polite.

Sixth graders Jayda Aviles and Meaghan Bradlee agreed.

“The kids are so sweet,” said Jayda.

“I love helping with the little kids because they’re so sweet and cute,” said Meaghan.

Hosting the annual Valentine Tea is a labor of love for organizer Wendi Lewis and her team of volunteers from the Friends of the Lane Memorial Library.

Lewis, who stepped up to the plate last year to take on the task after it looked like the tea wasn’t going to happen, was asked back in September if she would be interested in doing the same this year.

“I had a blast doing it last year so I immediately said ‘yes,’” said Wendi, who enjoyed picking out the crafts and putting together the little gift bags for the party guests. “I love doing these kinds of things (and) being involved in our community.”

Wendi had a lengthy to-do list that included decorating, contacting donors, making arrangements for (and feeding) the junior high volunteers, and lining up volunteers to do some baking.

“Knowing that this would be my second year, I already knew what to expect and what we could do differently,” she said. “Although we did have a couple bumps in the road, I think we pulled it off.”

Businesses who provided donations included Wicked Good Cupcakes, Joe's NY Pizza, Dominoes Pizza, Hannaford, Shaws and Dunkin Donuts.

The festivities were enjoyed by all, and as each guest received their goody bag to bring home, it appeared that the Friends had hosted yet another successful Valentine Tea.

“Multiple parents came up to me thanking me and telling me what a wonderful event it was,” said Wendi. “Everyone had a great time!”