By Stacy Fisher
Tea parties have the reputation of being fussy, stuffy and proper. The sixth annual Teddy Bear Tea Party, is no such occasion. The Capital Rotary hosts an annual tea party for kids and their adults and is a great way to kick off the holiday season. While others are fighting the ‘Black Friday’ crowds at the mall, our family dressed up a bit and headed off to a tea party. I couldn’t have been more pleased with our choice.
The room was packed, almost every table filled with an equal amount of children and parents and friends. Many grandparents sat by their toddlers, crafting little Santa faces and making paper chains. All the children received a free book and had a chance to get their face painted. There was tea, and I am sure it was good, but we didn’t even get a cup. We were too busy having fun with all the crafts, dancing and visiting our neighbors at the table.
A wonderful visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus made the trip worth it. He handed a gift of a stuffed bear to each child. A line started to visit the famous couple, and there was plenty of time to sit and chat with them, take photos and share secrets about presents under the tree. All the while, a “nurse” did her rounds through the crowd and tended to any stuffed animals in need of extra attention and a band-aid (and trust me according to most kids, a band-aid is always a good idea). Just when the event was to end and attention spans deteriorate, they brought out cupcakes to decorate and read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the crowd.
The best part of the night for the adults is different than for the kids. It is wonderful to see faces light up when Santa arrives, but what I enjoyed the most was watching a roomful of different generations enjoy a community minded event. The tea party is most importantly the annual fundraiser for Olympia’s Capital Centennial Rotary Club to help raise awareness and money for child homelessness in our community. The funds raised that evening go, more specifically, to benefit the children of the Madison Elementary School. “We really appreciated everyone coming out to support such a worth cause,” says Ken Balsley of the Capital Centennial Rotary Club.
Teenagers, volunteers of the Interact club, hustled to the tables to deliver much demanded cupcakes and extra cotton balls for the Santa craft. The kitchen, face painters and piano player never stopped all night. The amount of volunteers it took to run the event did not go unnoticed. The Rotary Club is a philanthropic organization that strives to serve the community and is a wonderful asset. This local club focuses on child homelessness, literacy and supports a variety of other community projects.
There are so many organizations in our community who offer services and opportunities to help during this season. One of the best lessons we can teach the next generation is to be a part of the community.
For more information about the Capital Centennial Rotary Club, please click here.