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COLLECTIBLES : Fullerton Mall Harbors the Dealer of the Year

April 08, 1993|KATHIE BOZANICH | Kathie Bozanich is a member of The Times Orange County Edition staff. and

Harbor Antique Mall owner Ann Lake has been on a "one-woman campaign" to turn old town Fullerton into a recognizable antiques district, getting the word out when a new store opens and encouraging other dealers to promote themselves.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. She was recently named collector of the year by the Southern California Collectors Assn.

The award is given to the person who does the most for the collecting industry, said Frank Donadee, the association's president.

Lake says she's grateful to be recognized by others in the collecting field. Ballots are cast by collectors throughout Southern California.

"I think every industry needs something to aspire to, something to pull us onward and upward, and this definitely did it for me," Lake says.

She adds that the award "is already bringing us a lot more people" to the shop.

The 113-year-old silver-plated engraved loving cup awarded to her will occupy "a prized spot in the store for one year," Lake says, after which time it will be passed on to next year's winner.

"I thought of letting it be passed around from store to store, because this really belongs to all the dealers here in Fullerton. But since I have to give it back, I thought I better know where it is. So I'll keep it here, in a special place."

Lake was the first Orange County winner in the award's 10-year history, Donadee said.

The award was presented at the Dealers Ball on March 13 at the Antique Guild in Los Angeles.

"Had it not been for Ann Lake, they definitely wouldn't have been designated an antique district" by the Southern California Collectors Assn., Donadee said. He added that old town Fullerton was the first area to earn such a designation from the organization.

"It was the first time we decided to do that, because so much progress had been made," he said. "She took what used to be a small number of shops and turned it into something special."

Lake says she will host a special event at the Harbor Antique Mall on May 13 for city officials and local antique dealers.

"I'm inviting all of the local antique dealers," Lake says. "I want the city to be aware of how strong a faction we are in the city."

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