Mad Hatter Returns! 24th Annual Transition House Fundraiser

By Joanne A Calitri   |   May 23, 2023
Mad Hatter Silent Auction Co-Chairs Jacquie McMahon, Judy Cresap, Nancy Kozak and Cheri Jasinski (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

The 24th Annual Transition House Mad Hatter luncheon took place on May 11 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara SB grand ballrooms. The 230 guests wore all manner of millinery attire with designer matching outfits. The theme was Garden Party at the Ritz. Hats ranged from antique 1920s lace, feathered hats, Vegas fedoras with an Ace of Hearts card, handmade flower garden hats, and hats with blinking lights.

Mad Hatter Event Co-Chairs Diane White and Jean Keely (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Sipping mimosas, guests toured the silent-auction items in the ballroom, while the San Marcos Jazz Band performed standards. All the auction items had bids and included 14-karat gold bracelets, antique fans, antique sterling silverware, pottery, glassware, vacations, tickets to shows at the Granada Theatre and Lobero Theatre, membership to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, dance classes, wine baskets, and dinner gift certificates at Ca’Dario and Lucky’s restaurants.

The program commenced with the welcome and “thank you” from Co-Chairs Diane White – a founder in 1993 – and Jean Keely, Transition House Auxiliary member of 12 years. Executive Director Kathleen Baushke provided the statistics of needs and accomplishments. She introduced staff members who had needed the services of Transition House at one time and now are working to help others, saying, “One-third of our current employees have lived at Transition House as children.”

The live auction led by Andrew Firestone raised the $50,000 needed to match an anonymous donor’s $50K challenge, upping the fundraiser to more than $200,000. In the words of Florence Michel, Auxiliary President: “We are a small but mighty team of 33 volunteers, who have gone from raising $33,000 24 years ago to this! Thank you!”

Later, Firestone did another ask for a second anonymous donor of $25K, which was matched.

The hat contest winners were Katreece Montgomery for the most beautiful hat, Kendall Klein for most humorous hat, and Felipe Garcia for most creative hat.

Funding raised at the Mad Hatter luncheon benefits Transition House’s children’s programs, and supports its mission of helping capable and motivated families with children attain the life tools and respectful residential services designated to alleviate poverty and restore self-sufficiency. TH thanks its $5,000 sponsors for this year’s event: Peter and Becky Adams, Garth and Kathy Nobis, Chuck and Missy Sheldon,the King of Heart SponsorsCasa Dorinda, CenCal Health, Montecito Bank & Trust, Jean Rogers,The Towbes Groupand Mike and Nancy Sheldon.  


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