And, the winner is…..
Christine Green of Rockford was a first time participant in the seventh annual United Bank Dress the Dolls campaign. She entered her doll with a handmade red-cloaked ice skater complete with matching muff and tam.
The old-fashioned full-length dress and cloak were trimmed in white. It was called the “Christmas Doll’ by many voters. Christine was shocked to take the top prize after viewing the other entrants. “How could you choose one?” she said.
Sue McCauley, who works for Frenz Coffee House, created a blue-jeaned doll in an apron, serving a cup of coffee. “It was such a close vote this year, we decided to award a second place” said Kathy Perez, Assistant Manager at United Bank. “The ‘Frenz’ doll was quite popular. Many of Frenz’s customers voted in support of McCauley’s doll.
United Bank purchased 100 dolls that were dressed by customers, community friends, and several businesses. The dolls are displayed for three weeks and the public voted for their favorites. United Bank donates the dressed dolls to the North Kent Service Center. The winning dolls will remain on display at United Bank until next year’s winner is named.
“We are so thankful for this program. The bank and the community have been so supportive and we look forward to partnering with them in the future” says Sandy Waite, Executive Director of NKSC. “Seeing the smiles on the faces of a mom picking up a special doll for her daughter is priceless.”
The real winners are the 100 little girls who will receive a new doll on Christmas morning.
Doll attire ranged from formal wear to sleep-wear, from a motorcycle ‘chick’ to a pharmacist, from simple purchased clothing to hand stitched or knitted ensembles. The participants ranged in age from three (with help from mom) to retired grandmothers.
“Every doll has a story of its own,” said Perez. Six women in a doctor’s office challenged each other and each dressed a doll. One was sewn totally by hand. Betty from D&W enters a full display each year—a cashier with register and shopping cart, a bakery with laquered rolls and loaves of bread. This year it was the pharmacy with shelves filled with items and a pharmacist. One doll, dressed in pajama pants held a little bag which included a pair of matching pajama pants for the new owner of the doll. A knitting instructor from Bishop Hills entered two dolls displaying her talent. River Valley Auto dressed a doll as a mechanic, complete with an oil smudge on her cheek.
This year several businesses sponsored a doll and United Bank found someone to dress their doll. Extra funds were donated to NKSC to purchase holiday toys for boys.