Monday, December 5, 2016

Sharing the light … with snack sets!

Some months ago now, Nancy Sanker read one of my columns in The Coweta Shopper and suggested I stop by sometime to see her collection of snack sets and learn about the new way she is using them. I was delighted to spend some time with Nancy in her lovely home last week, and after I heard her plan, I was eager to tell you all about what she is doing. Those who live locally may be able to help spread the word, and those who don't may be inspired to follow Nancy's example yourselves!

I already knew Nancy's name because here in Newnan, she has been featured in local media for her work as the founder of Lights for Linda Luminarias, an organization that was started in honor of her late sister, Linda McGrenaghan, who waged a 19-year battle with leukemia. Nancy and some friends began selling luminary kits around the holidays to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The idea is to have "a hopeful glow" on Christmas Eve in honor of Linda and all those who are health challenged, as well as their caregivers. So far, Lights for Linda Luminarias has raised more than $23,000. I think it's terrific that 100 percent of the monies raised go to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Not content to stop there, Nancy has thought of a creative new way to raise even more more funds to help in the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.

Nancy likes snack sets, which you have probably seen me refer to over the years as "tea and toast sets." They're also called "tennis sets" by some collectors, and Nancy has "hundreds and hundreds" of them! Now, Nancy and another snack-set-collecting friend have decided they will loan these snack sets for events like baby showers, luncheons, and weddings, and the fee is simply a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This new fundraising effort is called "Lunch with Linda: Vintage Rentals for Your Celebrations." In addition to the snack plates, Linda will rent ice buckets, sheet music, baby shower items, and much more.

She likes the fact that these snowflake design sets feature different snowflakes!

How many snack sets do she and her friend have? Nancy says she could easily equip a wedding reception for, say, 250 (!). Her desire is to see the snack sets used for good, a thought that has me busy trying to figure out how I can use my own teawares for such a cause!

Nancy has been collecting for about 10 years, she said, and she grins when she hears of friends who have paid antique store prices for such sets. She describes herself as "financially aware" and says she never pays more than $1 or $2 for the snack sets, and she often mixes and matches with the sets using clear punch cups.

Her palette is pretty straightforward: clear glass and cream. She collects all patterns of the clear glass except grapes, and she has quite a few creamy milk glass pieces as well. (The one exception is some amber glass plates she thought would be pretty for fall luncheons, shown in the very first photo of Nancy up top.)

And these pinecone design sets are the only china ones she has. She found them in nearby Pine Mountain and says, "They spoke to me."

Cabinets in Nancy's charming office are filled with snack sets and vintage decor, and she admitted that yes, friends come over and gaze in awe at all of the eye candy.

Here is some of the vintage baby memorabilia she enjoys collecting.

And Lunch with Linda, Lights for Linda, and the fundraising are never far from her mind. A friend and board member of Lights for Linda, Susan Boyd, made this beautiful "Kaleidoscope of Hope" quilt which will be used as a fundraiser in the coming year.

The piece was machine quilted by Gail Lane, and Nancy shared how the eye is drawn to the "light" at the center of some of the quilt blocks. She also let me read a line that someone shared with her following Linda's passing: "She has taken her bright candle / And has gone into a room I cannot find / But anyone can tell where she has been / By all the little lights she left behind." Isn't that lovely? And how fitting that Nancy herself continues to "share the light" left by her sister as she helps raise funds for such a worthy cause. So local friends, if you or a group you are involved with would like to borrow some snack sets and make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please visit or email I'm so excited for Nancy and can't wait to see her snack sets turn up at different events around town!


  1. LOVE the set Nancy found in Pine Mountain. Just beautiful!
    Shari in Columbus.

  2. What a clever idea to raise additional funds for a worthy cause. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great idea! And I enjoyed seeing Linda's collections.

  4. What a beautiful post! God bless Nancy and her marvelous endeavors to keep the light of hope shining for those stricken with Leukemia and Lymphoma, while also keeping the light of her sister's life shining brightly. Thank you for sharing this story, Angela.

  5. What a creative woman. Her giving heart is lovely to read about.

  6. Nancy is certainly innovative when it comes to fund raising, what a lovely woman she is and I'm glad she allowed you to share some of her collection.

  7. Thanks for sharing your visit with Nancy. Love the quilt.


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