by Karen E. Culp
Antiques just draw you in. That's what three Springfield women found both when they began collecting antiques themselves, and when they began working with the Springfield Collectors Club's antique shows.
The club will hold its 55th antique show March 28 and 29 at the University Plaza Trade Center. The two-day show draws visitors to Springfield from 10 states, said Bette Datz, show manager and member of the Springfield Collectors Club. Datz, Loretta Bogart and June Leslie are getting ready to put on the next show.
The Springfield Collectors Club started its shows in 1970, when the members were collecting Depression-era glass.
"They decided to show and sell at the Kentwood Arms Hotel," Datz said.
That was the first Depression-era glass show in the United States, said club treasurer Bogart. Eventually, the show grew too large for Kentwood, and moved to what was then the Howard Johnson convention center before outgrowing that center and moving into the University Plaza Trade Center.
The club holds two shows yearly, one in March, the other in August, Datz said. Proceeds from the show go to area charities.
"When the ladies were first doing the show, they found they were earning a profit and didn't know what to do with that money. They decided to donate the proceeds to charity," Datz said.
Over the years, the club has collected about $270,000 for area charities, said past president Leslie.
"It's the only antique show and sale that gives 100 percent of its proceeds to local and regional charities," Leslie said.
This show will feature 78 booths, Datz said. Collectors from as far away as Louisville, Ky., come to showcase their wares at the Springfield club's shows, she added.
Another draw to the show has been the mini-appraisals of antique items. John Conklin, club member and certified appraiser, conducts the appraisals.
"That has been a very popular component of our show," Datz said.
Half of the show's visitors have been out-of-towners, Bogart said. "It's amazing how far people will come for the show," she added.
Datz said that although the club does some radio advertising and advertising in antique publications, it is the show's reputation that keeps people coming.
"People know about us, and they know we put on a good show," Datz said.
Bogart said that fair prices for items sold at the show were also part of its draw. "When you pick something up at one of our shows, you know what you paid for it is the fair price, the right price," she added.
The Springfield Collectors Club limits its membership to 36 men and women who come from "all walks of life," but have the common interest of collecting antiques, Datz said.
Getting started collecting is the hardest part, she added, but once you start, you find yourself drawn into collecting.
"Most of us started with things that belonged to our families and then built on those," Datz said. She collects beaded purses, cut glass, steins and toys.
"It's a learning process. You start to collect something, and then you start to study it and find out more about it," Datz said.
Last year, the club gave $22,500 to Springfield children's charities. The average is about $20,000 per year donated to charities. The charities are selected by a vote of the membership.
Proceeds from the club's two shows are tallied and the funds donated at the end of the calendar year.
'It's the only antique show and sale that gives 100 percent of its proceeds to local and regional charities.'
Springfield Collectors Club[[In-content Ad]]
General aviation terminal expansion is set to wrap by August.