By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Senior Crafters Earn Big Sales For Center
crafters 3
Oakdale Senior Crafters Audrey Finley and Arlene Park work at their personal sewing machines during a Wednesday morning gathering. The crafting group first began meeting at Gladys L. Lemmons Senior Center in 2011. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and noon are anything but boring at the Gladys L. Lemmons Senior Center. Like most days, the 450 E. A St. facility offers a variety of activities for the 55 and over crowd.

The Wednesday morning group of Senior Crafters, however, is one which might leave visitors inspired, laughing or both. First founded in 2011, the group meets each week passing time visiting, sewing and yes, crafting in the company of others sharing their passion.

“They came to me,” Recreation Services Supervisor Linda Royalty said of the group’s inception. “They just wanted to get together because they wanted to do crafts together.”

The Senior Crafters hosts a number of crafting aficionados who enjoy activities including quilting, sewing, crocheting and holiday crafts. Attendance is free to the 55 and over community.

“Sometimes we sew, sometimes we just talk,” Audrey Finley said, noting the camaraderie with the group among the top reasons she enjoys attending the session each week.

The group noted that the growth of the Internet has benefitted them in the way of their projects as well as information shared with one another. From their 2011 founding until present day, they have found great on-line resources via Pinterest, Craftsy and a simple Google search.

“I think everybody in here tries something new all the time,” Beth Erhard said. “We see something on the Internet and we have to try it.”

Much of the materials used by the crafters they bring on their own. Yet, it is the donation of the community and fellow Senior Center members, which brings them unexpected excitement.

“It’s like Christmas here when we get a box of fabric,” Erhard stated of community donations. “It’s nice to make things just for the shop.”

‘The shop’ Erhard speaks of, is a small designated area in the foyer of the Gladys Lemmons Senior Center. Stocked with handmade items ranging from aprons, tissue holders, cloth wallets and shoulder bags, all items are reasonably priced for sale to the general public.

“They like to make stuff, but they can only give so much stuff away,” Royalty said of the shop concept. “A lot of our materials get donated. They (the crafter) donated their own stuff or we get donations from the community.”

Royalty added that sales from the shop are not on a consignment or shared profit basis. All proceeds go back directly to the Senior Center.

“It goes into a trust account,” she said, “so we can put it back into the Center.”

To date, sales from the crafters and others making donations to the shop are over $10,000. Some of those funds were used to redo the kitchen, as well as bathroom countertops at the facility.

Royalty also noted the group is always open to community donations, be it in the way of fabric, yarn or handmade items one might be interested in putting toward a good cause.

For additional information on the Gladys Lemmons Senior Center activities visit For information on making a donation contact Royalty at 845-3567 or e-mail