Strength in Numbers

“Together we grow stronger.”

It’s a phrase you have read at the close of this column dozens of times, but never has it been so aptly illustrated as it was last Saturday evening at the annual gala in support of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. That evening more than a hundred individuals gathered for dinner, music, friendship, and the opportunity to come together to demonstrate their support for the educational programs the dedicated and hardworking staff at the Stickley Museum offer throughout the year.

The highlight of the evening was a silent auction of artwork, antiques, tours, cocktail parties, jewelry, and art pottery, followed by a live auction of select items.

And in less than one hour those individuals gathered together raised for the educational programs at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms more than $50,000.

In just one hour.

Together we do grow stronger.

When in 1909 Gustav Stickley began purchasing land in Morris Plains, NJ and planning the chestnut log buildings nestled around the 5,000-square-foot log home at its center, he had a dream: to create a working farm to serve as a school for young boys, intended to teach them practical skills and to build the character necessary to succeed in the real world.

His dream fell short of his goal, as his furniture and publishing empire crumbled in 1915, falling victim to over-expansion and falling sales. But his dream did not die. In the 1980s, as the Arts and Crafts revival gathered steam — and numbers, activists wrestled Craftsman Farms away from ruthless real estate developers. A few years later the township of Parsippany-Morris Plains assumed ownership of the property, opening the door for the formation of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.

And the rekindling of Gustav Stickley’s dream.

You need only to take a look at the Stickley Museum’s website to get an idea of the scope of the educational programs executive director Vonda Givens and her staff conceive, plan, and carry out during the year. Or ask some of the area school groups and Girl Scouts, who now know who Gustav Stickley was….

That’s crafting the future.

That’s growing stronger.

Until next Monday.

Pick a cause — and help it grow stronger.


For more information on the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, please go to