Tag sale reunites shopper with craftsmanship of her father

Sale raised $5,000 for Haitian hospital
Nov 19, 2012
Pat Messler, left, and Anne Dodson stand with a pair of candlesticks Dodson found at the sale which were crafted by her father.

Camden — In the excitement of shopping at the Ninth Annual Tag Sale to benefit Partners In Health, on Saturday, Nov. 17, local resident Anne Dodson noticed a familiar pair of candlesticks in the arms of another shopper.

They looked like the work of her late father, a skilled craftsman who worked in New Hampshire, Maine and Florida. Dodson asked the shopper if she could look at them and confirmed that they were the work of her dad. The shopper immediately handed the pair to Dodson who quickly purchased them and embraced them with real delight. Until then, she had owned just a single candlestick designed by her father.

The candlestick pair came to the sale thanks to one of the sale organizers Pat Messler whose family has spent summers in the Blue Hill area for decades. She remembers buying them with her mother in the late 1960s in Deer Isle. Fred Dodson was an artist living in New Hampshire who really wanted to be a painter, but he developed his skills making gold and silver jewelry, tea sets, and pewter hollowware for his “day job.” Each summer, the family would come to Deer Isle, where he maintained a workshop.

“These candlesticks are going out for Thanksgiving!” said Dodson in a news release. She later returned to the sale to let everyone know that her brother, David Dodson, had also owned only one candlestick of their dad’s design. Now they both have a pair.

The tag sale generated $4,000 and an additional anonymous matching gift of $1,000 for a total donation of $5,000. This amount, when added to the proceeds from sales of handmade cards at Zoot Coffee during this year’s Christmas By the Sea, will fund a nurse midwife at PIH’s new Mirebalais Hospital in Haiti (pih.org/mirebalais) The teaching hospital has 300 beds and when all the ambulatory clinics are complete, it will serve an estimated 500 people per day. The teaching hospital will use technology to link nurses and doctors to lectures and meetings at teaching universities in the United States.

The Ninth Annual Tag Sale was put on by a large group of local women to benefit the work of Partners In Health, which was started 25 years ago by Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl and Jim Yong Kim. PIH works to bring health and social justice to poor communities in 12 countries, not as an act of charity but as a fulfillment of fundamental human rights. Through long-term partnerships with local governments and organizations, they provide comprehensive primary medical care services, as well as treatment for such complex diseases as HIV and tuberculosis.

In addition to the Tag Sale, each November, the group, Noteworthy, creates and sells handmade note cards available year round at Zoot Coffee in Camden. This year during Christmas By the Sea, the first weekend in December, they will set up a “pop-up store” in the back of the coffee shop selling hundreds of cards and offering patrons a chance to make cards themselves. The “pop-up store” will be open Friday, Nov. 30 into the evening, Saturday and Sunday Dec. 1 and 2 during regular Zoot hours. All proceeds go directly to Partners In Health.

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