National Doll & Toy Collectors Club of NYC


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About Us
       History: Recent Years, Part II

A History of National Doll & Toy Collectors Club ...
Text submitted by Leona Peterson

Mary's dream of a united federation was realized in 1969, when the club voted to rejoin UFDC. We are now in Region 14 comprised of clubs in New York State, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. There are 17 regional divisions now, including an international group. At the 1999 Annual UFDC Convention, National Doll and Toy Collectors Club was honored with the return of their Number 1 Unit charter. This marked the 50th anniversary of federation.

National continues to play an active role in the doll world. We hosted the first NYC Regional Meeting in 1972 at the Statler Hilton entitled "New York Past and Present." In 1979, we hosted the 30th Annual UFDC Convention. The theme was "Parade of Dolls." The opening program was an original playlet complete with a parade of real live dolls; it was presented in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf -Astoria. This elegant setting made for an unforgettable event. The souvenir was a porcelain and cloth boy doll called "Little Apple" created by artist Faith Wick. He came with an extensive wardrobe that could be purchased separately.

For our 50th anniversary, we celebrated with a Gala weekend event held at the World Trade Center. Artist Phyllis Wright created a replica of our Dolly National as our souvenir. Club members dressed and accessorized each doll. UFDC marked our milestone with their annual convention held that same year in Boston themed "A Birthday Celebration." In honor of Mary Lewis, a lovely porcelain baby girl doll designed by Linda Steele and named after Mary was presented to convention goers at the evening banquet.

National continues its tradition of hosting its annual Holiday Party, contributing dolls and toys to local hospitals and charitable organizations. In the 1990's we established the Mary E. Lewis Educational Scholarship to provide funds for aspiring doll or toy makers at our present meeting place FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Recipients received awards in the amount of $500. National has contributed to the Target 2000 campaign to help establish a permanent home for UFDC including offices, research center and a museum.

Many of our members have contributed to the doll world. Two of our members have served as UFDC Regional Directors: the late Rosemary Sullivan from 1979-1982 and Loretta Nardone from 1994-1997. The late John Noble served as Curator Emeritus of the Museum of the City of New York. The late Barbara Steiker and Leona Peterson were senior judges in UFDC competitions as well as highly respected doll experts. Robert Tonner is an internationally known doll artist and designer.

So, Mary Lewis' dream lives on into the 21st century.

We are a New York City based non-profit doll club organized expressly for charitable and educational purposes related to doll collecting.