Aspasians celebrate 40 years of philanthropy
(ROCKWALL-April 27, 2013) For the past 40 years, a group of Rockwall area ladies called the Aspasians have been hosting the Aspasians Arts and Crafts Fair. Many Rockwall residents have grown up shopping at the bi-annual fair with their parents and are now shopping with children of their own. Over the years, it has truly become a Rockwall tradition to attend the Aspasians Art Fair on the Square.
The very first art fair was created to raise money for scholarships and showcased crafts made by the Aspasians ladies themselves. That first show raised $100 and the Aspasians were thrilled!
Over the years, the Aspasians Art Fair has blossomed and each spring and fall over 200 vendors can be found at the fair. The Aspasians are proud to say to date they have raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship monies, helping many high school seniors achieve their dream of going to college. Last year alone, they awarded $45,000 in scholarships.
Believe it or not, all this hard work is produced by only 30 active Aspasians.
The very first art show actually came about because of butterflies. Yes, butterflies. In searching for a way to raise money for scholarships, one member of the newly formed Aspasians made framed butterfly hangings and suggested a craft sale, selling products made by the membership. The location was the Brookeshire’s parking lot and the only food items offered were brown bag lunches made by the Aspasians, which sold for $1. ~ Aspasians.com
The continued success of the organization can be attributed to its dedicated members. One such member is Dell Osborn, a member for more than 20 years. She says her favorite part of being an Aspasian is “without a doubt, serving on the scholarship committee.”
“One of the most gratifying Aspasians experiences I have had is interviewing the candidates for our scholarships. There are so many amazing young people out there,” Osborn said. “I specifically remember one senior girl, whose story brought tears to our eyes. She was the oldest of several children, and her family was extremely financially challenged. To help with family finances, she cared for an elderly lady several nights a week. She did this while being one of the top students in her class and participating in extracurricular activities. She won our hearts and we helped her with a scholarship.”
Years later, Osborn met up with the scholarship winner. “She had graduated from A & M and was so thankful for the help from Aspasians,” Osborn said. “She was working with the Susan G Komen Foundation. Having recently lost my own mother to breast cancer, I felt so honored that as an Aspasian, I was able to help someone that will go on to help thousands more. It’s that “ripple in the water” effect! What we do to help others, spreads, and spreads and spreads!”
The Aspasians ladies can be found wearing their trademark aprons, working hard to produce a successful event. Look for new vendors in the midst of beloved returning vendors showcasing everything from jewelry, trendy apparel and gifts to food, handmade and vintage items. There is truly something for everyone, from babies to those in their 80‘s!
The Aspasians are very thankful for the loyal shoppers coming back year after year to the Art Fair. The 2013 Spring Aspasians Art Fair will return to the downtown historic Rockwall Square from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
For details, vendor application and more info, call 214-712-0212 or visit aspasians.com.
Story and photos submitted by Jenni Knox with the Aspasians.
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