Homeowners in Rye and surrounding towns have decorated their rooms with lucky and reasonable finds from the Twig Antique Shop for almost 100 years, happy in the knowledge that all the profit has gone to help fund United Hospital (until 2005) and then the Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook Emergency Medical Service.
By Whitney Clark
Homeowners in Rye and surrounding towns have decorated their rooms with lucky and reasonable finds from the Twig Antique Shop for almost 100 years, happy in the knowledge that all the profit has gone to help fund United Hospital (until 2005) and then the Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook Emergency Medical Service. Wedding and birthday presents were readily available. Paintings and prints, antique sideboards and tables, china and crystal and silverware were all there to be discovered and enjoyed. Twig volunteers always worked hard in the shop: Moving furniture, pricing, cataloguing, selling, receiving consignments and shopping at auctions, tag sales, and antique shows.
But times have clearly changed. Many more women work outside the home and have little time to shop. And styles have changed. New, bright modern decor is simple and undemanding and comfortable. There are no more butlers to polish the silver and few maids to shine the mahogany tables and clean the chandeliers. We all love “Downton Abbey” for its archaic and romantic lifestyle, but now we are the stars of our own “Upstairs Downstairs” show.
After so many years of operating a highly successful volunteer fundraising charity, Twig Antiques will close its doors on Smith Street on July 30. A 20 percent discount will be taken on its own purchased items, and consignments will be returned to their owners. Rye’s version of The Old Curiosity Shop will come to an end. So many of the stalwart, remaining Twig volunteers are determined to continue to seek fundraising venues for charity in the future and thus stay together as hardcore workers and friends.
HISTORY OF THE TWIG, INC.
The Twig Organization originated as an idea of Mrs. Van Wyck Wickes in 1911 to form a women’s auxiliary to support United Hospital with a sewing circle. Soon there were many different Twigs allied with the Hospital in different capacities. Since the beginning, the ladies of the Twig have raised much-needed funds for the hospital and recently, the local EMS.
Over the years, there have been an enormous variety of fundraising ideas, which have paid for everything from ambulances to thermometers. There were Twig Balls, fashion benefits, tennis tournaments, concerts and musicals, and even an annual PGA Golf Tournament. In 2006, The Twig, Inc. received $160,000 from the PGA Tour for its volunteer efforts at the 2006 Barclays Classic.
During the past 100 years, the membership sold aprons, candles, candy, cheeses, Christmas cards, cook books, fabric, flower arrangements, furniture, jewelry, knit goods, linens, pickles, sweaters and more. They hosted Antique Appraisal Days, antique shows, boutiques, bowling leagues, bridge series, casino nights, cooking classes, dollhouse tours, finance lectures, flea markets, garage sales, haunted houses, ice cream socials, sports nights, Mayfair, theater benefits, and yoga classes.
Twig members gave countless hours of volunteer service at United Hospital as well. The Coffee Shop and the Gift Shop were staffed with Twig members.
When the Hospital closed in 2005, The Twig Organization continued to serve the community under its filing for a 501© (3) status as Twig, Inc. For the time period of July 2005 to June 2009, a total of $713,286 was distributed to designated charities.