The Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square opened its annual Holiday Gift Shop Friday night with a celebration that included food, wine and live music—in addition to locally handcrafted gifts.
A tradition more than 30 years running, the gift shop sells jewelry, clothing and art, among other items. All of the gifts are handcrafted by local artisans, and WSCC keeps a small commission on sales to help support its programs.
WSCC President Kay Wetzel said the shop is a way of bringing together community members and providing a venue for local products. While many items came from Regent Square, other Pittsburgh-area communities are represented, too.
“We don’t want to be just a closed club or anything,” Wetzel said.
The evening included live performances by the Steel City Ukuleles and the Milton Street Carolers, as well as free deserts and wine.
As folks milled about, greeting friends and neighbors, Wetzel reflected on the bonds she’s made at the shop over the years.
“We used to have two really sweet ladies who would spike the punch,” Wetzel said with a laugh.
The shop will stay open through Sunday, Dec. 11. Hours are 12-8 p.m. on weekdays and 12-5 p.m. on weekends.
WSCC also opened its new PlaySpace for the first time Friday evening. Intended for children six and under, the space offers children a safe environment in which to play and make friends.
Penny Butler, a WSCC board member who helped develop the project, said the space is available to members of the center who agree to spend at least two hours a month there. Membership at the school costs a family $40 for a year and includes access to any of its classes.
The PlaySpace is not a care service, and parents must supervise their children, Butler said. But that’s part of its benefit.
“It’s a great way to meet other parents and learn from one another,” Butler said.