When Joan Dobias was in high school, she made a thrifty purchase that sparked a lifelong career.
She bought an R.S. Prussia for 75 cents at a local antique shop, then turned around and sold the 18th century mustard pot for $75.
Not only did she turn a fast profit, but she was dealing with that which she liked most.
"I liked old things," said Dobias, a semiretired antique dealer. "(My) house is full."
In fact, antiques occupy every room in Dobias' country motif home. A child's sled and butter churn are in the dining room, and old lamps and furniture decorate the den. In all, there are about 100 heirlooms throughout the house that Dobias spent 16 years assembling. Her favorite, however, is a collection of 18th century Flow Blue pottery and china from England, a pattern in which blue coloring streams from front to back.
Dobias learned early the fun and value of collecting antiques and had always hoped to whet the appetite of young people. So, when Spring Hill Garden Club president Gloria Nadeau asked club members for fund-raising ideas, Dobias' hand went up.
Let's have an antique show, she told members.
And so they are.
The show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the fellowship hall at Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Admission is $1.50.
At least 20 antique vendors from as far away as Tampa, Clearwater and Dunedin have agreed to sell merchandise at the festival.
Patrons can buy rugs, glassware, pottery, paintings, jewelry and china while walking among decorations with a fall festival theme. There also will also be quilts and furniture, items Dobias expects to draw a young crowd.
"A lot of young people love oak," she said. "Now the trend is going toward mahogany and the finer pieces."
Doughnuts and coffee will be sold during breakfast hours, and refreshments such as hot dogs, chili and cider will be available throughout the day.
Contest tickets will be sold for $1. Prizes include a $50 gift certificate from the Sherwood Forest landscaping division, a $25 gift certificate from Rogers' Christmas House Village, a $20 gift certificate to Beall's Department Store, Sunday brunch at Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club, and a $25 gift certificate from Kmart. Entrants need not be present to win.
The garden club will award a plant to the person holding the right entry stub. The winner must be present.
Proceeds from the event will go toward several club-sponsored projects, including beautification of the waterfall at Spring Hill Drive and U.S. 19 and the Northcliffe entrance to Spring Hill, as well as construction of a new nursery and botanical garden on Parker Avenue.
Dobias estimated the projects will cost $25,000.
Club members are hoping the antique show will become an annual fund-raising event.
"It's not just a social group, it's a working group," Dobias said of the club.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Spring Hill Garden Club's first Fall Festival Antique and Collectible Show
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill
COST: $1.50 admission