Lots of ribbons are handed out each year during the Prince William County Fair. Blue ribbons, yellow ribbons and several other awards are given for everything from crafts to animals and given to all ages from babies to seniors. One group in particular seemed to do very well with their entries this year – those from the county's senior centers. Members of the Manassas and Woodbridge Senior Centers entered a number of crafts and artwork at the fair and several of them took home ribbons.
Bonnie Swank, who cooks for the folks at the Manassas Senior Center, took best of show in the jewelry category for her tatting necklace. Tatting is a form of handmade, knotted lace. Swank, who has been tatting for about 15 years, made the intricate necklace in a spiral design using blue and white beads and metallic thread. Two first-place ribbons and one second-place ribbon in tatting complimented her best in show award.
Swank has entered the Prince William County Fair several times and has also entered her work at the Maryland State Fair. She said she puts her entries into contests with the best of hopes, but tries to curb her expectations. "It's better never to expect something like that. It's better to just hope for it."
Terry Berry, who is a member of the Manassas Senior Center, took home third place for her multi-media portrait of a flamenco dancer. She said it felt good to be recognized, "It was exciting. I was surprised I won." Berry is no stranger to ribbons. She took home a first-place ribbon and a best in show a couple of years back.
Mary Moore, a member of the Woodbridge Senior Center, won a number of ribbons for her origami creations that included swans, baskets, vases with flowers, and even minions, the animated movie characters of the "Despicable Me" franchise.
Kathy Amberose, the Woodbridge Senior Center site manager, entered for Moore. Moore said she was happy to win even though she didn't personally enter her things at the fair. "I was very surprised," she said. "I didn't even know I was in competition."
Frank Chergosky carves reliefs of flowers and butterflies in wood. He carved a spiral design into a cane and a stand-alone eagle's head. Chergosky, a member of the Woodbridge Senior center who took a couple of third-place ribbons to go along with a second-place ribbon, said he got some excitement in the winning. "I'm glad people appreciate my carving."
Pearl Wilson, of the Woodbridge Senior Center, has been working in ceramics since 1974, but she never had any aspirations beyond perfecting her craft. She entered her ceramic art after others at the senior center urged her to compete. "I was surprised. It felt good to win, but I had no intention of putting anything in."
Kay Kendall entered two ceramic figurines she painted into the competition, a rabbit and a squirrel, and took away two third-place ribbons. "I got tickled pink. I never thought I'd win anything. This is the first time I entered the fair."
Nancy Hart, a member at the Manassas Senior Center, didn't know what to expect when she entered her landscapes at the fair. "I had no idea. I've never entered in the Prince William County Fair, so it was all a crap shoot for me. I think it's fun."
Other winners from the Manassas Senior Center included Esperanza Woods, Ruth Gill and Sue Boberek, Dorene Griffin, Linda Edwards, Pat Scott and Betty Howard.