Maltese Cross Circle
Maltese Cross Circle was formed in 1968 when four women, Betsy Benton, Carolyn Barry, Nancy Martone, and Ann Martone went to a King’s Daughters’ informational meeting and decided to create Maltese Cross Circle.
Beginning projects consisted of homemade bears, card luncheons and dinners with recipes while participating in the milk bottle coin collections (now CHKD’s canister program) throughout the community. Over the years two cookbooks have been created. The King’s Daughters’ fair was a precursor to the Holly Festival of Trees where Circles would sell their goods at the fair located in the Norfolk Arena. The first year it was held outside in the parking lot. Members made Raggedy Anne dolls, baskets, dough wreaths, and bread. Memories of pulling the red yarn through muslin for the dolls’ hair reminded members why they tired out after years of service.
In the early years, Maltese Cross Circle members stuffed dolls and bears for the patients in the hospital and grew the membership to 27 members in the first three years. Dues were $4 per person and included membership in the International Order of The King’s Daughters. Mary Lou McDaniel was a Circle member who organized a horse show in 1972 with proceeds of $555 going to CHKD. Rummage sales and note card sales kept the members busy the rest of the year. In 1973, dues were increased to $10 a person and the group partnered with the Churchland Jaycees for the Portsmouth power boat race which netted $575. Raggedy Ann doll sales and the Tupperware party produced another $237 and $67 respectably. The group continued to challenge themselves with different fundraising ideas such as bake sales and Raggedy Ann raffles, hockey tickets, horse show luncheon, poinsettia sales, bingo and cookbooks.
During the centennial capital campaign of 1996, over $25,000 was raised through a pick a party series that included a cocktail party overlooking the sunset on the Elizabeth River, Halloween Bash, and two other live auctions. Over the years many successful projects have kept members busy fundraising by serving beer at Harborfest, partnering with the Virginia Living Museum to bring Dino Animation to Tidewater and hosting an opening night Dinosaur party. As founding Circle of the Holly Homes Tour we have experienced growth from a small four-house tour in 1976 to five elegant homes decorated for the holidays along with a luncheon and Santa’s kitchen. In the mid 1990’s bus trips to Tysons Corner helped raise funds and build comradely. The American Girl fashion show was brought to Hampton Roads with a lot of work and much success.
By joining this committed and vibrant group, you can experience many aspects of fundraising and community awareness for CHKD. It will allow you to support an important community asset, CHKD, which services the health of our children as well as friend and fundraising. Untapped talents are discovered through flower arranging, decorating, creative party planning, cooking, event planning, and regional networking. Expand your horizons and become part of what makes Norfolk great and keeps our community kids healthy. Currently our membership numbers 15 and we welcome interested people of any age.
This past year we celebrated our 45th Anniversary.
Past Circle Projects:
Mary Barnett's Holiday Shopping Night- annual shopping night in December in which a percentage of all sales is donated to The King's Daughters
Macy's Shopping Day
Sewing Bears for CHKD surgery patients
Participate/Volunteer in The King's Daughters' Major Fundraisers