For more than 50 years, crafters from all over Eastern Hillsborough County have been meeting at the Riverview Civic Center on Thursday mornings to share their love for knitting, crochet, quilting and sewing at the meetings of the Riverview Hobby Club. The club is open to any one with an interest in a hobby and the desire to meet new friends and is always looking for members.

According to Club President Yvonne Cagle, crafters began meeting in 1953 and the group has been holding regular get togethers ever since.
“This is a place for people to come and get away and meet others with similar interests that could be living right in their neighborhood,” said Cagle.

Current members, who live in Valrico, Riverview, Brandon, Progress Village and even further afield, use the time to knit, sew, crochet, cross stitch and loom, but there is no limit to the crafts that can take place at the club.

The meeting officially starts at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings with the Pledge of Allegiance, but members, who range in age from their 40s to their 90s, begin arriving around 8:30 a.m. Food is provided by a few members each week and dues are $5 for crafters younger than 90 years old.

“Once you turn 90 you become an honorary member and don’t have to pay,” said Cagle.

Many of the items made during the meetings, and by members on their own time, are donated to local hospitals and non-profit groups.
Recently, members have donated 10 Afghan blankets to the Veterans’ Hospital, 33 lap blankets to the Shriners Hospital and 40 blankets and 48 hats to St. Joesph’s Hospital.

“Living in Florida, most people have less need for blankets and hats, even those made with love,” said member Doris Davies who lives in Valrico. “But they can really be used in the hospitals and by people undergoing chemo treatments especially.”

According to Davies, one of the highlights of the meetings is “Show and Tell,” where members share items they have made with each other.
“The support is one of the best things about the group,” said Cagle. “These ladies are the most compassionate people who really look out for each other.”

For more information about joining the group, call Cagle at 505-7847. The Riverview Civic Center is located at 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview.