Tea time!

Families gather at Salvation Army for an afternoon party

From left, Vincy Coadney and Katie Whitman, both of Gloversville, and Katie's daughter Shyanna Richton and Beth Whitman, both of Northville, enjoy a Girls Afternoon Tea Party Saturday at the Salvation Army in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

GLOVERSVILLE — “I like eating crackers” is the way Brian McRedmond of Gloversville summed up his interest in the Girls Afternoon Tea Party yesterday at the Salvation Army.

He was sitting next to his aunt, Kimberly Vossburgh of Gloversville, in what is planned to be the first of an annual Mothers Day event.

“We’re looking for a way to reach out to the community for families to come together,” said Salvation Army Lt. Anne Marie Devanney.

“It’s a way for women to come together to celebrate being a woman on Mothers Day, to make the ladies feel special, someone cares about them.”

“I come here to church, and it’s our first annual tea,” Vincy Coadney of Gloversville. “I like to encourage the social support of the church.”

Kirston Caban bites into some cheese as she and her mom, Toni, have snacks yesterday at the Girls Afternoon Tea Party at the Salvation Army in Gloversville.(The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

Toni Caban of Gloversville said the Salvation Army is “like a little family,” and she is very happy with the church’s afterschool program. The church picks up youths from school, allows them time to do homework as well as arts and craft, and then brings them home. She likes when her daughter can sing songs such as “Jesus Loves Me.”

“The afterschool program gives her socialization and also education about Jesus,” said Caban.

The meal began with crackers, cheeses and fruit. Then came sandwiches, followed by chocolaty dessert.

While her 3-year-old daughter Alli hugged her dress, Devanney said a prayer and gave a presentation on the development of British women’s tea socials and all the proper etiquette of the day. Women were not allowed in men’s coffeehouses, so some English queens began promoting women’s tea times, she said.

One of the volunteers Saturday was church member Mary “Kitty” Riznyk, who helped with serving.

Three-year-old Alli stays close to her mom, Lt. Anne Marie Devanney of the Gloversville Salvation Army, as Devanney explains this history and etiquette of British women's teas during a Girls Afternnon Tea Party Saturday, sponsored at the church. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

“I need to be needed,” stated Riznyk, who said she was Fulton County Senior of the Year in 2015.

Among its community activities, the Salvation Army runs a soup kitchen and food pantry. Devanney said last year the community donated three tons of food to the church.

“We thrive because of the community we’re in,” she said.

Devanney said her husband, Mark, is planning a program for Fathers Day.

Participants line up at the food table Saturday during a Girls Afternoon Tea Party at the Salvation Army in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)