The Sherman Needlework Guild Association raised almost $15,000 at its annual In-Gathering Tea held on Oct 18. The Needlework Guild raises money to benefit the Sherman Independent School District.

The money raised at this year’s event will go toward clothes and hygiene products for students.

“Tea donations from our guests and others responding to the invitation to date are over $11,000,” Sherman NGA President Donna Bedgood said. “Active and contributing directors’ donations added an additional $3,900.”

About 150 people attended this year’s tea held at 2610 Riata Drive in Sherman. The tea is held as a come-and-go reception at a historic house in Grayson County.

“Our receipts this year and our attendance at the tea were the highest in several years,” Bedgood said. “However, we also face increasing needs. We are very grateful for a generous donation a few year’s back that has enabled us to meet all identified needs. However, we are rapidly depleting that reserve. And, as was pointed out in the previous Herald Democrat article, we also provide a significant number of toiletry items to the high school nurse.”

Bedgood said clothing purchases for children over the last five years totaled over $63,000. In 2013, the group purchased $9,180 in clothing and $20,039 in 2017.

“The Needlework Guild was first organized in 1885 in Philadelphia,” Bedgood said. “The Sherman Branch was the first and only chapter established in Texas in 1929. The first Sherman Tea to gather clothing for children was held on Jan. 8, 1930, in the home of Mrs. E.H. Young; 192 garments were collected.”

This year, the group hosted its 88th tea. The tea is the only fundraising event for the organization.

“Home selection in the past has been the total responsibility of the NGA president,” Bedgood said. “At this year’s annual meeting in September, it was decided to have a committee comprised of the officers and two appointed directors to work with the president regarding home identification and solicitation, beginning in 2018. Homes are not required to be of any certain era — just of interest to guests, accessible by most, with adaptable parking. We were very fortunate to have a very new home this year, beautifully and personally decorated by the hostess, Aleia Gilbert.”

Bedgood said this year’s home was special because of its home décor and landscaping.

“The soft, light colors used were coordinated beautifully throughout the home,” she said. “Of particular interest were the lighting fixtures in each room and the backyard pool area. The kitchen, in particular, is impressive with a giant-sized island and unique vent hood styling.”

Bedgood hopes that the tea continues to change for the better and bring more money into SISD.

“The tea evolved from collecting ‘one new and one used’ clothing item from each person attending the tea to monetary donations in order to better meet specific size and item requirements, with the organization serving students from kindergarten through high school,” Bedgood said.

The organization also hosts a spring event to which directors bring primarily diapers and baby wipes for Grayson County Health Department needs.

For those that would still like to give to the Needlework Guild, donations can be mailed to Kathy Bickerstaff at 1208 Dundale Circle, Sherman, TX 75092.