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Former CCA raffle prize finds its way back into ABC Sale

By Staff | Feb 26, 2009

This year, the Captiva Civic Association will have a veteran raffle item up for grabs during their 43rd Annual ABC Sale.

Some years ago, 16 Captiva women designed and crafted a needlepoint rug that featured an array of peach-colored hibiscus blossoms and Florida’s state bird, the mockingbird, on a field of pale green where in the lower left-hand corner read, stitched in green, “Captiva 1985.”

This particular rug was the culmination of a 10 year tradition, beginning in 1975, of the “Captiva Rug,” a needlepoint masterpiece designed and made every year on the island by residents and later raffled off to raise funds for the CCA’s scholarship fund.

For the decade-long annual “Needlepoint Rug Benefit,” as it was called, first prize was a specially made rug with a new design every year, second prize was a director’s chair and third prize was a pillow, both featuring a riff on the rug’s design.

The women who designed the rug were Teo Fenton, Jane Foster, Julie Stonehill, Florence Dornan and Doris Schoonmaker, and the women who actually needled the rug were Josie Conte, Jane Foster, Kay Schultz, Jean Angle, Marion Cannon, Tine Holland, Ginny Loomis, Jane Stegeman, Franziska Janes, Katie Howland, Lori Salem and Kay Damon, each of whom completed a square to be added to the finished rug.

The completed 1985 Captiva rug landed in the lucky hands of Gainesville residents George and Mary Creighton, who had received the winning raffle ticket at a ‘Tween Waters event called “Captiva Rug Night.”

But Gainesville was not to be the permanent home for this rug.

“Last fall, when Debbie Wells (CCA secretary) was going through some old books and photographs, she came across the information on the rugs and said ‘Aren’t they wonderful? Wouldn’t it be nice to have one?’ And about a week later, Ann Bradley came in and said the winner of the raffle for the last rug that was done in 1985 had called and asked if we’d like to have it,” said Sharon Brace of the CCA.

After seeing the rug (always displayed on the wall as art instead of used as an actual rug) for almost 25 years, Carol Hadley – the Creightons’ daughter – contacted Ann Bradley of the Captiva Memorial Library and said she’d like to return the rug in the hopes of continuing the CCA’s fundraising efforts.

Brace was glad to see the return of the rug, especially in such good condition, and is hoping that someone will be interested in the piece, both for its historic and artistic value.

“Of course, for an auction, you need more than one person who wants it,” Brace said.

The rug is available for viewing by those who would like to see it at the CCA, and in case you’re curious, the winner of the 1985 director’s chair was Gerald Murray of Melville, N.Y. and Lillian Castimore of Captiva won the needlepoint pillow.

The ABC Sale will take place on Saturday, March 14 at 6 p.m at the CCA community center.

For more information about the ABC sale, or if you’d like a sneak peak at the Captiva rug, contact the CCA at 472-2111.