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Publish Date: 5/10/2005

Sunshine Tea happens Wednesday


LONGMONT — If it’s the second Wednesday in May, it’s time for the Annual Sunshine Club “Tea”, a benefit to raise funds for its chief community work, sending needy school children to the dentist.

At the dental clinics held this spring at 18 schools, 836 children were checked. There were 197 with urgent needs. Ninety-three have already been seen by dentists.

Lisa King, Suzie Ball, Karen Kanemoto, Sarah Golden, Anne Lehman, Patty Prescott and Kathy Oliver make up the dental clinic committee. They extend a special thanks to all the dentists who have been the examiners.

The 2005 fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the home of Kathy and Bruce Hall, 502 Collyer St. There will be a baked-goods sale, tea and such goodies as candies, including English toffee, and frozen casserole dishes. All will be moderately priced.

The Hall family welcomes Sunshine Tea-goers and hopes they enjoy touring the home.

The Hall home was built in the Queen Anne style in 1883 by Lorin Casandre Mead, a founding member of the Chicago Colorado Colony. He and his wife, Alizabeth Sheldon Mead, homesteaded northeast of town at Highland Lake. A granddaughter, Mary Mead Jensen, still lives in the family home in Highland Lake.

The home on the corner of Collyer and Fifth Avenue has a red brick exterior and is trimmed with sandstone lintels, a pressed brick course at the second floor level and quoin corners on the south bay window. Other notable Victorian touches are three different shapes of wood shingles on the gabled front, the ornate spindle post balcony and front porch, and cutout barge boards covering the ends of the roof rafters.

Following its sale by the Mead family in 1903, the property ownership changed hands several times, most significantly when Marie Talbott purchased and used the building jointly as her residence and as the St. Vrain Hospital, which later moved to 303 Collyer St.

In 1975, after many years as an apartment house, Howard Pillips, a Longmont architect, purchased the property, then gutted and completely remodeled the interior. The original oak and pine woodwork, a stained glass window beside the stairway and an elegant fire place in the front music room enhance the Victorian floor plan.

After an interim owner, Bruce and Kathy Hall purchased the home in 1985, continuing the improvements by surrounding the large lot with wrought-iron fencing, converting the barn to a garage, adding a patio and enlarging the main floor with a spacious library/family room, added in 1989. They have also added an outside grill and sun room. The patio gazebo and the landscaping, remodeling the kitchen and dining room as well as the upstairs bathrooms, all done in 2003.

Kathy Hall, a member of the St. Vrain Valley Board of Education, has an extensive collection of Santas, and a Christmas village is featured in the library/family room.

The Hall’s son Nathan, 20, is a sophomore at Villanova University, a business major and baseball pitcher. Patrick, 16, is a sophomore at Skyline High School who excels in acting, tennis and baseball.

Officers of the Sunshine Club are: Kay Sandmeier, president; Jenean Weterstrom, vice president; Janel Brown, recording secretary; Anne Lehman, corresponding secretary; Sue Haley, treasurer; Lisa King, treasurer in training; and Dale Bernard, historian. The Endowment Fund Board includes Martha Williams, Ginny Shaw and Sue Haley.

Officers of the Sunshine Club for 2004-2005 have been Kathy Oliver, president; Kay Sandmeier, vice president; Janel Brown, recording secretary; Doris Haley, corresponding secretary; Sue Haley, treasurer; Lisa King, treasurer in training, and Dale Bernard.

The Sunshine Club was founded by five Central School children — Emily Barclay Antels, Ethel Reeder Dickens, Harriet Secor Flanders, Harriett Smith Wimsatt, and Clara Donovan Witherow — in 1902 for the purpose of “helping poor people.”

Their first of many fundraisers was a sale of hand-tatted linen handkerchiefs. Every year since, Sunshine “girls” have sponsored a major event to raise funds for their many charitable projects.

In addition to providing emergency dental care for disadvantaged school children, Sunshine Club projects include scholarships to students in dental studies, and sending sympathy, cheer and congratulations cards to area residents.

“So,” Sandmeier said, “load up your car with friends, come to the tea, enjoy delicious refreshments and have a good visit with others who attend. Donations at the tea table will be greatly appreciated.

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