Ten New England Chapter members gathered on a cold and snowy January 8 at Maxwell Silverman's Restaurant in Worcester, Massachusetts to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the chapter's founding. Among the attendees were three of the chapter's founding members: Janee Connor, Mirjana Freilich, and Astrid Gallet, all three also past presidents. vFrom the summer of 1991, beginning as Massachusetts PACC, our group was an early chapter of the fledgling Professional Association of Custom Clothiers, also founded in 1991. We later expanded our geographic reach and became the New England chapter of PACC and continue today as the New England chapter of ASDP.
Opening the event, current President Sue Bennett proposed a toast to past and present members, to our friendship, and to the next 25 years. Following a luncheon buffet, we continued a tradition of going around the group with each saying what we are currently doing. Everyone agreed that the encouragement we receive from each other has been valuable beyond words and that our association transcends professional and business connections, to deep and lasting friendship. We have been with each other during illnesses and loss, personal achievements, business ups and downs, and much more.
The celebration also included a recent tradition, a fabric exchange. The pieces that each person brought were passed around the table, examined and then spoken for. Despite audible murmurs about "downsizing", "too much of a stash", "no need for more fabric", and the like, everyone seemed to leave happy with a "new" piece for a new year.
At the end of the party, members received a silver colored gift bag which held a pair of ballpoint pens personalized with the chapter name and website (we're always marketing!), an article on the early chapter history written in 2002 by Janee Connor, a package of basting needles, a handmade silk organza press cloth, some chocolates and a rose. Amid laughter and hugs, we headed out in our different directions once again on the snowy roads of New England - until the next gathering!
This event was organized by the current chapter officers: Sue Bennett, Joyce DeLoca, Cathie Ryan, and Maureen Egan.
The ASDP New England Chapter web address is: www.newenglandsewingpros.org