Tag Archives: Garden Party

Our First Silly Hats & Caps Garden Party

We started Silly Hats & Caps with 3 of us girls and our husbands and if we wanted to grow, we needed to figure out a way to reach out and tell others about us and our advocacy!  We knew we would have to hold a fun event that would be free to attend and offer a chance for others to get involved by introducing them to Silly Hats & Caps and JDRF!

One of the girls had been to the garden party of a local Orange County artist who makes beautiful quilted wall hangings http://www.bbquiltscapes.com/.  She told the rest of us about the fun she had attending this party and we decided to meet with the artist and see if she would be willing to show her quilts at our party and allow us to copy of few of her fabulous ideas on hosting a garden party!

She not only agreed to show her quilts and let us use all of her ideas, she made up some neat snap clutch bags with the shape of a JDRF Walk Shoe on the outside and offered to donate a portion of all of her proceeds to JDRF as well!

One of my daughter-in-law’s friends that she has known since elementary school has a beautiful home and yard and offered to let us use it for our garden party!  We were up and running!

In order to keep admission free, we decided to ask everyone to bring their favorite dish and make it a pot luck!  We would provide the drinks and desserts!

So on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in September, we held our First Annual Silly Hats Garden Party!  Hats were not mandatory but we offered  an assortment anyone who cared to wear one!

Barbara was there showing her beautiful wall hangings

and clutch purses!

We had a Reflexologist and a Massage Therapist offering their services for $1 a minute!

We had an incredible variety of absolutely delicious dishes to choose from

and over 40 friends enjoying the food, drink and company of each other!

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Some of our friends even donated raffle items and not only were we able to introduce a new Type 1 family to JDRF at this event, we raised a little money to help with the cure!

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Silly Hats & Caps Write Up!!

Published in JDRF Orange County’s January 2012 Newsletter!

Volunteer Spotlight: Silly Hats & Caps

What exactly is Silly Caps & Hats? Founder Jeanne Mansfield tells us “I had always wanted to be part of the Red Hats’ Society when I retired,” but she gave it a different twist. She started by gathering a group of people with whom she could meet on a weekly basis for a common purpose.  They would share friendship, fun, and camaraderie in the process, and while it began with her close friends, it would be open to anyone who wanted to join.

Their purpose was easy to define: to build awareness of JDRF and type 1 diabetes, and to create opportunities for people to get involved –whether for outreach, friendship, social activities or fundraising.  Jeanne and Bob’s grandson Robby has type 1 diabetes, and they have been involved with JDRF ever since he was diagnosed several years ago.  “One of the big reasons that JDRF was the chosen charity, besides the fact that my friends all know and love Robby and want a cure for him, they also learned that JDRF research is shared and is helping many other auto-immune diseases as well!  They all have family with some form of autoimmune disease and feel that Silly Hats is helping them as well.”

In addition to their regular meetings, they have been engaged in many activities: representing JDRF at volunteer and health fairs, creating centerpieces for our Walk activities, and many grass roots fundraisers, including a garden party, pot lucks, bowling, a cookbook and the first annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Golf Tournament, to name a few. The ideas keep on coming!

So where do the hats come in? “The hats are a real conversation starter.  Every time someone asks who we are, it gives us a chance to share our purpose with them – tell them about type 1 diabetes and why we need to find a cure for our loved ones.”  She adds, “of course, it’s just plain fun to be a little silly and see who has the craziest contraption on their head!”

There were six people at their initial meet-up last April: Jeanne and her husband Bob, their friends Jan and Bob Woolford and Diane and Bob Bratcher.  More people have joined the group, with 22 people showing up to their last gathering.  And according to Jeanne, the more, the merrier!  They meet Tuesdays and 8:30 a.m. at Watson’s in downtown Orange.

Silly Hats & Caps are a great example of how a small group of people with an idea can make a difference.  If you would like to join Jeanne, or have an idea that you would like to pursue, please contact Melissa Soderbloom, our volunteer coordinator.

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