It was the dream of Jeanne Niswonger Wood and Marge (Maginnis) Wulff. In 1979, Jeanne organized the Ginny Doll Club Convention held in Lakeland, Florida with the help of Marge, Bonnie Glotfelty, and others. That organization eventually evolved into The Modern Doll Collectors Convention, Inc. ®
In 2003 Jeanne, Marge, and Bonnie decided to take a trip to the past and organize a convention focused on the dolls that so many of us played with in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.
They met at Marge's house in Winter Haven with others who were enthused about the idea, Suzanne Watkins and Gayle Coppeta, and decided they would try to make Jeanne's dream come true.
They called themselves the Fire-Flies because their aim was to illuminate the doll world in any way possible.
Being Ginny aficionados, they had no problem deciding that Ginny would be the first souvenir. Linda Smith, President of Vogue, was wonderful to work with and generous besides. The Garden Party theme was appropriate for fireflies, so 1- 1/2 " Mason Jars, with waxed paper for covers and holes for breathing purposes set the tone for future conventions. The Tea Party Ginny in a Gazebo and the Ginny with a Firefly Teddy Bear were outstanding souvenirs! Each guest also received one of the Ginny Botanicals Dolls.
In 2004 the theme was "Come Join the Fire-Flies for Christmas".
The souvenir doll was Ginny in her Dr. Denton pajamas, for the Night Before Christmas.
Chris Nimeth, from The World of Miniature Bears in Miami created a Christmas stocking with a firefly and a doll and teddy bear in it.
There was a souvenir for each meal, and all meals and souvenirs are included in the registration. We wanted our conventions affordable as well as fun and in Florida.
At the banquet we received the clothes Ginny would need in the morning, her Church dress with accessories and the coat, hat, muff, scarf and white boots. Suzanne Watkins suggested that Sparky should be dressed as a reindeer for our fourth souvenir. That idea made us quite giddy!
The third Convention in 2005 was The Magical Toy Box. This year two enthusiastic Fire-Flies, Linda Lesperance and Gloria Alfarano, came on board. They would be the emcees and also cheerleaders for all the ideas. And that they are. As we planned the 2005 convention, ideas flew and we were exhilarated. Our main souvenir was a Retro Ginny puppeteer, then Sparky as a marionette. A stuffed elephant on wheels for the toy box was provided by Chris Nimeth of World of Miniature Bears, and a Baby Sister for Ginny was a special event for this convention only in honor of Linda Smith' mother, Katherine who passed away the previous year.
Our fourth Convention in 2006 "Come Play in Our Doll House" was phenomenal.
The theme of the fifth Convention was "Hearts and Flowers".