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The 29th annual Christ Church Grosse Pointe Antiques Show co-chairwomen Karyn Weir, left, and Betsy Creedon. photo by Ann L. Fouty.

May 23, 2013
Browsing the 29th annual Christ Church Grosse Pointe Antiques Show something new and interesting will be spotted, turned up and discovered.

The annual fundraiser, staged May 30 through June 2 on three levels of the church, benefits the Christ Church choirs and the church's outreach ministries.

According to the show's co-chairwoman Karyn Weir, attending just one day of the event is "a unique way to spend the day, in a beautiful setting. There is something for everyone."

"We have a lot of returning vendors," said Betsy Creedon, a Grosse Pointe Farms resident and event co-chairwoman. "They love coming here. They love the Grosse Pointe community. They have made friends here. I'll have the same silver dealer (staying with her) and we have become good friends."

Weir, also of Grosse Pointe Farms, hosts a rug dealer from Kentucky, one she has hosted for many years.

In addition to the returning silver and rug dealers, there will be those who offer items to decorate houses from floor to ceiling, tables, windows and walls. From posters to jewelry, from china to books, from furniture to fine art and personal gifts to presents for the newlyweds and the newly graduated, there is likely to be something to catch the eye and at a variety of price points in one of the 30 booths.

The $10 admission ticket price, a charge that hasn't been increased in years, admits an attendee all three days. Drop your name in the fish bowl on the upper levels and enter a door prize raffle.

Setting up a fish bowl to encourage people to visit each floor of the show is just one show detail among thousands requiring 20 committees to pull the four-day event together. The dozens of volunteers work a year in advance creating mailings, setting up and tearing down church rooms and vendors' booths, selling tickets, advertising, manning the cafe and everything in between. Year after year the show has gained a reputation for quality and pulls in dealers from the Midwest, south and east coast and some, according to Creedon, have been coming since the first year.

"We have so many different ages and different backgrounds from the youngest choir member to an 80-year-old," Weir said of the volunteers.

"We need tons of volunteers," Creedon added, all with different experiences.

She illustrated how a senior woman is paired with a young woman and charged with calling all volunteers. They make the calls and keep a record of responses on a computerized spreadsheet, rather than by hand as the older member would have done in the past.

Their efforts and that of all volunteers is to support the church's choirs.

"Betsy and I met 20 years ago when my son was in choir," Weir began, as was Creedon's son. Weir was asked to chair the antiques show and said, "I can't do this alone."

She drafted Creedon and they have been close friends ever since, having served both as co-chairwomen and honorary co-chairwomen.

The pair agree the choral training and traveling are invaluable to choir members. Christ Church choirs have traveled all over Europe and New Zealand, singing both in concert and during services at churches and cathedrals.

"The exposure to incredible cathedrals gives the teenagers a positive sense of identity," Weir said. "People of all faiths singing ... they never forget."

Highlights

One of the new additions this year is a Sunday speaker. John Gallagher, author of "Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention," at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2, will kick off this new segment to the show.

"We need to connect with Detroit," said Creedon, about the addition of the local author as a speaker. "He has come out with a new book, written on Detroit architecture. It's a great thing on Sunday afternoon to talk about the Golden Age of antiques and tie it in with antiques."

Gallagher is preceded on Friday, May 31, by Kathryn C. Greeley who instructs attendees how to incorporate their collections into new designs, whether it is a table top design or refreshing a room.

In a telephone interview from her North Carolina office, Greeley said she will have a PowerPoint to explain her ideas during the 10 a.m. presentation.

She said her philosophy is to highlight the homeowner's interest.

"I've been in the interior design business for 30 some years and I design to reflect the clients' lives, their passion, their interest, their travels. It's reflective of that collection of what the person is about.

"I work with classic colors, not the trendy. I don't want the client to be stuck with something that in two years is not in fashion. There are wonderful ways to use trendy colors, with lamps or table linens that go with more classic colors."

During her presentation, Greeley has the chance of working with a local vendor and show vendors. The League Shop is providing items for Greeley to use in her demonstrations. Incorporating a local store is another of this year's changes.

"We're honored by her selecting our store," said Pat Brinker, the League Shop's owner.

Greeley will use two table settings from the shop's china department, one formal and the second more casual, she said.

"This will highlight our china and accessories and give good ideas at home and how to update with new products," she said.

"I'm working on a surprise table top presentation," Greeley said of what the League Shop is providing her.

She also will be showcasing some items available from antiques show vendors.

"I know a lot of dealers in Michigan who were in the Orlando show (she recently attended) who will lend me pieces for a few hours," she said. "It will give people a good idea of what will be there.

"I like to do a couple tables so people can walk around."

Greeley said one of her strong points is getting people involved in her presentations so she can help them combine something old and something new.

Another one of her working points, Greeley said, is helping people find collections suited to them. While she collects blue and white English porcelain, not everyone should, she said.

"A lot of people don't know what they want to collect," Greeley said. "I question them enough to what they have or have inherited and pull out what might make their heart sing. I have to dig it out of them."

This year, Christ Church Antiques Show competes with Detroit's Grand Prix, June 1 through 3, and PBS's "Antiques Road Show" Saturday, June 1, at Cobo Center.

Creedon acknowledges WDET, the local PBS station, will have a card available for those attending "Antiques Road Show" printed with a coupon for $2 off the admission price to Christ Church's event and a map.

More importantly, this event offers free parking in the high school parking lot Saturday and Sunday.

Kick off

The show's festivities begin with an archangel preview party at a private residence to honor the three levels of donors — silver, gold and archangel. During the evening, guests can meet Greeley and take part in a silent auction.

Funds from the archangel event held the Thursday evening before the show opens is donated to the church's missions projects, including Crossroads of Michigan, Habitat for Humanity and Mariner's Inn. Attendees also have a chance to win a two-year lease for a MKX Mercury provided by Crest Lincoln.

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