Ten years ago when Kathryn Darden met Donna Gorlier at a doll show in downtown Nashville, little did they know it would be the start of women's hobby group that would last over a decade. At the time Darden was a staff writer for Barbie Bazaar Magazine, the biggest doll collector's magazine in the world, and she was covering the local doll show for the magazine. Darden had been thinking of starting a group in the Belle Meade/Bellevue area, but didn't know any other local collectors.
"At that time, there was a Barbie doll club which met in the Madison area, but that was a pretty far drive for folks like me who lived in Bellevue," says Darden. Darden began introducing herself to attendees at the doll show, looking for others from her area until she met Donna Gorlier from West Nashville who was immediately open to the idea of pooling resources to start a group. The two women took out an ad in a local paper, and Lorena Anderson from Pegram joined them at the first of two organizational meetings of the Belle Meade Plantation Belles Doll Club at the old Shoneys in Belle Meade in July of 1997. In September the club was invited by Mattel to attend the unveiling of the Grand Ole Opry Barbie at the Grand Ole Opry Museum at Opryland, which was their first official club activity. By that time the group numbered around 12 women.
Since then the group has participated in a variety of activities from hosting a patriotic doll display and meeting at General James Robertson's log cabin on Charlotte Pike, to sponsoring toy drives for various charitable organizations, to hosting doll shows and other events at Bellevue Center mall.
The Belle Meade Plantation Belles Doll Club will celebrate their 10th anniversary at Shoneys in Bellevue on Thursday, September 6, at 7:00 P.M. Interested doll enthusiasts are invited to attend. Girls 12 or over are invited to attend with an adult. There will be door prizes, goody bags, and other give-aways. There is no admission charge. Please call 662-6212 to RSVP.
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