Chester Arts Club members meet to organize for fall activities

MAKING PLANS — Members of the Chester Arts Club include seated, from left, Sue Boston, Velma Jackson, Jean Hanlon and Wanda Hood, and standing, Kitty Binkowski, Joann Lange, Vivian Richmond, Donna Stevens, Willie Balt, Mary Ann Wright, Polly Mackall and Bev Stevens. -- Contributed

CHESTER — The Chester Arts Club met Sept. 27 at Crickster’s Family Restaurant with Kitty Binkowski, secretary, presiding and bringing a birthday cake in honor of many members whose birthdays this year will end with a “0” or a “5.”

Jeanne Hanlon read a poem titled “Kindness,” and Donna Stevens finished with grace before lunch was served.

Mary Ann Wright gave the treasurer’s report.

Willie Balt, chair of the community improvement committee, reported the club will leave flowers in the planters along Carolina Avenue and the City Building until the frost is predicted. She will organize the flower removal and installation of pine and decorations before the Festival of Trees is held Nov. 17 and 18.

Willie also reported progress regarding the Chester Arts Club Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees. Kay Moore is painting a table donated by Betty Dennis, an original 1950s arts club member, to support the tree. John Murray, son of Mrs. Murray, the “Purple Hat Lady of Chester,” has donated a purple hat and hat box to decorate the tree stand. Members have donated jewelry pins, broaches and miniature dress shoes to decorate their “Lady’s Tree.”

More than $375 in gift cards, lottery tickets and cash will go to the winner of the club’s fall drawing. The group voted to sell tickets at the Fox Crest Fall Festival and also will sell tickets at the Festival of Trees on Nov. 17 and 18 and Hometown Christmas celebration on Dec. 2. The drawing will be held at the end of the Christmas parade.

The club elected to sponsor an angel Christmas tree for the West Virginia Veterans Home. Last year, President Joann Hobbs donated a more than 7-foot tree erected at Crickster’s Family Restaurant. The club purchased four presents and donated gas money to member Marlene Fleming, who delivered the presented to the Veterans Home in Barbour County, W.Va.

A general list of tentative programs for the ensuing club year was reviewed. Wright will take the club for a tour through “Memory Lane” at the Chester City Building. Binkowski will arrange a tour at the Hancock County Museum in New Cumberland and announced an Edgar Alan Poe reading organized by the Hancock County Arts Club, a subsidiary of the Hancock/Brooke Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be held Oct. 27 at the Hancock County Museum.

Prior donations to local charities and community events were itemized and discussed. There also was discussion concerning various amounts to donate to the club’s drawing fundraiser.