Women of the Orange Community who dressed dolls for the disadvantaged children on the Salvation Army’s gift list were thanked Friday with the annual Doll Tea.

The event is held each year not only as a thank you, but also as an awards presentation for the best dressed dolls.

Different church groups and service organizations participate as one of their service projects.

“The wonderful thing is, we received 299 dolls and we have 298 girls on our list,” said Maj. Linda Queener of the Salvation Army. Eighteen bears were also dressed this year.

Myrna Trahan of Salem United Methodist Church received the grand prize trophy for her crocheted baby doll. Frances L. Neal from the church picked up the award on Trahan’s behalf. The Salem Church women had dressed 26 dolls total.

Women of Harvest Chapel dressed 100 dolls this year. Ruth Birch’s great-granddaughter, Lillian Johnson, 8, decorated the dolls and dressed the bears.

Mother, daughter team of Patsy Phillips and DeDe Reeves have been dressing dolls for seven or eight years. “I love it, I’d rather make doll clothes than people clothes,” said Reeves. The pair make their clothes from recycled formals and children’s clothes. Pointing to one doll dressed in pink, Phillips said, “I’ve still got enough of that to dress 20 more dolls.”

The judging criteria was simple. “ Which doll do you love the most,” said Maj. John Queener. “Which one would you want to take home with you if you could.” He said the decisions were hard for the judges, it took them over an hour to decide the winners.

The list of winners are:

Grand Prize–Myrna Trahan

Wedding Dress–1st, Patsy Phillips; 2nd, Ruth Birch; 3rd, Sue Ayers.

Formal Attire–1st, Patsy Phillips; 2nd, Anne Cupp; 3rd, DeDe Reeves.

Casual/Sports Wear–1st Evelyn Sechler; 2nd, Marie Johnson; 3rd, Harvest Chapel.

Sunday Best–1st, Ruth Birch; 2nd, Anne Cupp; 3rd, Patsy Phillips.

Sleepwear–1st, Myrna Trahan; 2nd, Annette Gomez; 3rd Sue Ayers.

Period–1st, Annette Gomez; 2nd, Ruth Birch; 3rd, Sue Ayers.

Bears–1st Alicia Johnson; 2nd, DeDe Reeves, 3rd, DeDe Reeves.

The tradition of dressing dolls for Christmas and the Doll Tea has been in Orange “Forever,” according to John Queener. “Orange is one of the few communities that still dress dolls.”

He said that a troop of Girl Scouts would be coming in to bag up the dolls area children will receive for Christmas.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.