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DIARY DATE! American Women of Berkshire & Surrey hold craft and gift fair at Ascot

PUBLISHED: 00:16 21 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013

DIARY DATE! American Women of Berkshire & Surrey hold craft and gift fair at Ascot

DIARY DATE! American Women of Berkshire & Surrey hold craft and gift fair at Ascot

FRI Nov 4: The American Women of Berkshire and Surrey has invited Founding President Jonnie Dorman to open its 28th Annual Holiday Craft and Gift Fayre at Ascot Racecourse

To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, the American Women of Berkshire and Surrey has invited its Founding President, Jonnie Dorman to open its 28th Annual Holiday Craft and Gift Fayre, this Friday 4 November at Ascot Racecourse just after the Fayre opens to the public at 9:30.


Mrs Dorman from Sunningdale, started the club in her living room with a handful of friends after attending a meeting of a nearby international womens club, the American Women of Surrey. She fondly remembers the very first Fayre: It was held at the British Legion Hall at Virginia Water in the late 1980s, and we had roughly 20 vendors. We invited members and their friends to set up tables. It was more of garage sale for members moving away from the area. We brought in card tables and had a few women selling their craft. Although held in May, we nearly froze to death and I remember it being colder inside than out! We all wore coats and gloves! The Pavilion at Ascot Racecourse seems like paradise compared to our very first venue.


In some sneaky planning, Mrs Dorman booked a trip away with husband Ben to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, but said: So I wouldnt miss this event, we won't leave until after lunch. Just enough time for my daughter Lauren (who designed the club magazines covers in the early years), and I to pop into the Fayre! We cant wait to see this years event and all the wonderful vendors coming from London and the south east. I know that this years organisers have worked all summer to ensure this event will be one of the best ever.


Originally from Southern California, Mrs Dorman moved to the UK in 1972, lived in Saudi Arabia for two years (1976-1978) and Holland for three (1978-1981), before moving back to the UK in1981. She still maintains her membership of AWBS, I have so many connections to the local community but I keep up my membership to support the group. I feel very proud to have played a small part in developing AWBS. Although I am no longer actively involved in the organization, it is wonderful that it still maintains the initial impetus of helping women acclimatize into a new environment and country. Each new year brings fresh ideas and dimensions to AWBS. It manages to grow and expand to meet the needs of its ever increasing membership. Thats all through time given unselfishly by women with different talents who care, and want to help make the experience of living in England the best it can be. They support local charities, not only financially, but through volunteering as well.


AWBS President Lora De Semple (from Chertsey) said, We are looking forward to meeting Jonnie and sharing her memories of the club and the very first Fayre. I know she will be pleased to see how we have built on the tradition she started which we hope will carry on well into the future. Jonnie started this Fayre as a way of expats giving back to their community and inviting her to open this years Fayre is way to recognise her foresight and celebrate her contribution 30 years ago!.


The Fayre runs from 9.30am to 3.00pm with tickets 2. AWBS members will offer home baked treats, along with gourmet food from specialty suppliers, live music, and two cooking demonstrations.

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