Betsey’s annual doll tea Dec. 10

Teaching both historical context and exposing young girls to other cultures, The Betsey Mills Club will once again offer its annual doll tea for young girls ages 6 through 12 next week.

“The doll tea is a great way to introduce kids to the Betsey,” said Willa O’Neill, organizer for the event. “It’s been a way to reach out to girls and women in the community.”

Sponsored by the club for more than 15 years, the tea gives young girls the chance to dress up and have a social outing with others around their age.

“Basically the idea when it started was that young girls would get a chance to wear a party dress and have a unique social activity that’s not really offered elsewhere,” said Nancy Luthy, president-elect of the club’s board of trustees. “The American Girl doll theme was added about five years ago.”

Organizers of the tea have selected a different American Girl doll each year to feature while bringing food, music, crafts and an inkling of cultural exposure into an informal educational setting.

“I took my granddaughter one year,” said Luthy. “It’s always been a successful program and shows that the Betsey is more than just a pool and a daycare.”

Last year, local girls were introduced to a fictional character whose grandparents were French.

“It shows our nation’s cultural diversity by linking these doll’s stories to the tea,” said O’Neill. “This year the doll is of Mexican descent and we’re going to have traditional Mexican foods like sopapillas, mini tacos, chips and salsa, and of course tea.”

The annual tea welcomes not only girls, but also their beloved dolls to the event, with seats set up for the dolls to enjoy the festivities.

“It’s special when they get to bring their dolls, the girls just love it,” said Luthy.

Luthy said the tea, like many of the other programs the club offers, provides an avenue for the community to stay engaged at the Betsey no matter the age. O’Neill agreed, saying the event brings the club’s community outreach full circle.

“Many adults have fond memories of the Betsey, this is a way to begin those memories in the girls too,” said O’Neill. “This is a part of what the club is all about, and it’s a gentle way to foster the conversation about a respect for all people.”

The tea will be held in the Betsey Mills Club from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 10.

To sign up, members and non-members alike may call the Betsey at 740-373-4981. The cost per child of a member is $20 and the cost for non-members is $25.


If you go

¯ What: Holiday Doll Tea.

¯ Where: The Betsey Mills Club.

¯ When: 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 10.

¯ Who: For girls ages 6 to 12.

¯ Cost: $25 per person, $20 for members.

¯ Girls are welcome to bring their dolls to the tea and learn about Josefina Montoya, a young girl born in 1815 in New Mexico.

Source: Willa O’Neill


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