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CGOA Celebrates 20 Years: Part 2 The First Chapter

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Today I  honor the very first chapter of CGOA: The Northern IL Chapter.

Our current logo
This year, along with CGOA, we will be celebrating a twentieth anniversary: that of our chapter! Thanks to Dana Kahan Benjamin, who I met while planning the first Chain Link conference, we had a meet-up for what was to become the first CGOA chapter in June 1994 at the Mt. Prospect, IL library. Dana insisted that we make an effort to meet other crocheters before the conference which would take place in August that same summer. She made the arrangements with the library and announced it in the paper. Together we taught the participants an introduction to free form crochet.

We were quite pleased that seventeen enthusiastic crocheters showed up. We charged $3.00 to pay for the library room and refreshments; and that day The Northern IL group was formed. Many of our chapter members have gone on to hold volunteer positions with the national organization, CGOA: Pam Oddi served as President;  Dana Kahan Benjamin was the first Treasure and Lori Zalewski and Cindy Cooper served as well. Barb Sizemore was the first Nominations Chair and BJ Licko Keel served as Membership Chair as did Marge Scensny; Marge also served on the Education  and Pattern Line Committees. Many, many of our members have also served on the planning committees for the 3 Chain Link Conferences we hosted: 1994, 1997, and 2003.

Present at the first chapter meeting and still members of the chapter after twenty years, Barb Collister, Dorothy Hansen and I comprise the 20th anniversary planning committee and we are currently planning a bang-up chapter party to celebrate our chapter's twenty years on June 14, 2014. The committee held a logo design contest and the winner of our new logo will be announced next month at our April meeting. We'll celebrate with a cake, games and prizes as well as a surprise crochet visitor!

Since it is National Crochet Month, here's more about our 8th Annual Crochet Buffet which will take place on March 22, 2014 from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Rolling Meadows, IL library where we now meet regularly. It is open to the public each year and is our way of celebrating. Our buffet "dishes" up a "taste" of the various techniques of crochet. Members with special crochet technique interests volunteer to set up their display and to demonstrate their particular technique. It is a "feast" for the eyes" and a "smorgasbord" for the senses!

Crochet for Charity
Crochet Toys
This year fashion, Irish crochet, toys, food, free form, charity crochet, and thread crochet will be represented and on display. The exhibit is open to the public and it is our way of showing our best crochet and letting potential new members know about the works of our chapter.

Here's a sampling from my display, Crochet Food:
Bacon & Eggs
Hamburger & Fries
Dish of Candy
Chocolate/Coconut Cake

Have you ever crocheted food items? Let me know in the comments section here on the blog.

Our chapter has grown and grown and we hover around seventy members. Our mission is education and we strive to have an educational component at each meeting except March. We have officers and a well-established schedule of activities each month. Included here are examples of past crochet lessons at our meetings from 2013:
January: Annual yarn exchange; plan the schedule of classes for each meeting. Members request techniques they want to learn and other members with know-how volunteer to teach.
February: Free form crochet
March: Crochet Buffet to celebrate National Crochet Month: Open to the Public
April: Diagonal Box Stitch
May: Double-ended crochet
June: Cables
July: Bead crochet and attend the Chain Link Conference; work at booth at Irish Fest

Gwen at Irish Fest Crochet Booth
August: Miser's purses; Chapter Challenge; assemble squares to give blankets to Warm Up America (WUA); assist WUA at Stitches Midwest; assist CGOA at Stitches Midwest
September: Tunisian wrist warmers
October: Socks; annual weekend retreat
November: Snowflakes; annual Pattern exchange; in cooperation with 2 other IL chapters, staff a booth at Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago
December: Education, holiday party

Are you a member of a CGOA chapter? Tell me some of the special activities your chapter does. If you are not a chapter member, why not start one in your own neighborhood. It's a great way to celebrate crochet!


Wonderful post Gwen. Looking forward to 20th anniversary celebration.

Stephanie B. said…
Yes I have crocheted food but only cupcakes. I gave a couple of them to a local cupcake chop in town and they displayed them it was very cool. I have several at home. I love them and they make great pin cushions too.
Thanks Margaret and @handmadebystephanie. I hope to see you both in Manchester.

Love your cupcakes in the cupcake shop Stephanie! No worries about getting stale or calories!

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