Tag Archives: Orange County

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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Silly Hats and Caps Update!

Last April I wrote about how some of our friends and I had decided to form a sort of advocacy group called the Silly Hats & Baseball Caps.  Well we’ve been meeting for breakfast every Tuesday Morning since then and have we been busy!

With Bob’s surgery and all, I am way behind in filling you in on what we’ve been up to.  But it is high time I start sharing some of the things we’ve accomplished!

  • First of all we have shortened our name to “Silly Hats & Caps”!
  • We have a purpose:

We are trying to make a difference

While having fun

Chatting, Laughing

and finding a Cure for Diabetes

  • We have a face book page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silly-Hats-Caps/230127823715355  We would love for you to “like us”!
  • We hosted our First Annual Garden Party  http://wp.me/p1qABL-iT
  • We organized and held our First Annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Golf Tournament  http://wp.me/p1qABL-hD
  • We held a bowling get together for family and friends with diabetes  http://wp.me/p1qABL-ko
  • We have made 40 centerpieces for the JDRF Walk Kick Off Luncheon (and are also using a version of them as “leave behinds” for the JDRF Promise to Remember Me meetings with our congressmen http://bit.ly/GA8DWj
  • All of us Silly Hats got together for a wonderful Holiday Party
  • We met at the beach for a little exercise and a great lunch on the Pier
  • We collected favorite recipes from family, friends and JDRF Advocates and put together a Cook Book that we are selling with all proceeds going to JDRF!
  • Our local chapter did a write up on us in their monthly newspaper.  You can check it out here:  http://wp.me/p1qABL-iH
  • We volunteer at health fairs and other events sharing about JDRF and the need for a cure for Diabetes

In the next few days I hope to get you all caught up with more of the details of some of these things we have done!

I have to tell you that not only have we, as a group, accomplished so many things, it is wonderful to be able to meet every week with friends and know that you can laugh  and cry  and hug and share with others just because!!  Just like the DOC, but in person!

When Bob was in the hospital…they were all there, right by our side, laughing, chatting, and praying!  We are eternally grateful for our wonderful SILLY HATS & CAPS!

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Filed under Advocacy, Government Day 2011, JDRF Walk to Cure, Promise to Remember, Silly hats and Baseball Caps, Spreading Awareness

Experiencing the Halls of Congress

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our morning started at 7 am with breakfast, followed by the JDRF staff passing out packets that we would deliver to our Senators and members of Congress,  and a quick review of  our message for the Hill Meetings.

So without further adieu we were are off to catch the Metro to Capitol Hill to roam the halls!   All politics aside, it is a humbling experience to walk the same halls that have been walked by so many men and women that have helped make this country what it is today!

My husband Bob and I had appointments with all five offices of the Orange County members of Congress.  Unfortunately, we  did not get to meet with any of the actual Members themselves, but did meet with their Legislative Assistants and/or Legislative Directors.

  • We told each one of them our personal story of how our grandson’s  diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes has impacted him and our family.
  • Thanks to many of our advocates at home and the Orange County Chapter’s Junior Ambassadors, we were also able to give each office a stack of letters from their own constituents telling their personal stories and how important a cure is to them.
  • We asked each of them if they or their member had any personal connection to Type 1
  • We reminded them that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and that over $174 billion is spent on people with diabetes every year.    We then shared the fact that as a result of better management of diabetes, complications would be drastically reduced, not only would diabetics live longer, healthier lives,  burden on taxpayers would be reduced as well.
  • The Artificial Pancreas will enable people with diabetes to achieve tight blood glucose control and avoid both the highs and dangerous lows, and therefore significantly reduce the risk of complications.
  • We asked them to encourage their Member to sign the letter to the FDA Commissioner Hamburg highlighting the need for guidance on the Artificial Pancreas
  • We asked them to please support the highest funding possible for NIH (National Institute of Health) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Congressmen Royce, Rohrabacher and Campbell are not members of the Diabetes Caucus so we told them who they could contact to join and learn more about this horrible disease.

The only one of Orange County’s five  Members  that approved the current renewal of the  Special Diabetes Program Funding was District 47’s Congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez.   We made sure to tell her legislative assistant, Jessica Fernandez to give her a special thank you for her help in keeping the research for our cure alive .  As we met with the other 4 representatives, we did not thank them personally, but we did  tell them that we want to thank CONGRESS for renewing the SDP!

Some of our other California Advocates, including our own Glenn Weber,  met with our 2 Senators, both of whom were members of the Diabetes Caucus, and they had also attached their signatures to the SDP!  (I can also add that both of our California Senators have put their signatures  on the letter to the FDA!!   However, not one of the Congressmen/women have as of today 4/4/11)

All of the meetings left us feeling very comfortable knowing that the Staff promised they would review all the information we had left with them and present it to their Congressman.

We concluded our last night in our Nations Capitol by celebrating with a group of extremely dedicated and passionate  California Advocates at a restaurant called Utopia.

GREAT COMPANY!! GREAT MEAL!!  GREAT GOVERNMENT DAY 2011~~

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Filed under Campbell, Government Day 2011, Junior Ambassador, Miller, Rohrabacher, Royce, Sanchez