(Monday, November 2, 2009) - The first Holiday Hat Bash will be held this year in the Quad-Cities to raise funds to assist two local non-profits that provide food and gifts to lonely seniors in the community.
Last year, at the end of the Senior Santa program, local director Steve Habenicht was faced with a dilemma. "We had over 100 names of seniors left on the trees at Hy-Vee, but even worse, over 100 names that were taken and gifts were not brought back,'' he said.
Faced with a lack of funding, Steve and his Home Instead Senior Care staff scrambled to do what they could to help these 200 seniors have happy holidays.
The same thing was happening with the food baskets CASI (Center for Active Seniors Inc.) delivers every year to its seniors who are in need during the holidays.
"Funding has been tough, and last year we saw a significant decrease, so we did what we could to supply a healthy meal to our seniors in need," said Tom Bahls, CEO of CASI. "With even more state and federal cuts this year, we knew upfront we'd have to be very creative in funding the gift and food basket programs for our local needy seniors."
In response, a group of friends and business acquaintances decided to combine a unique holiday party with the mission of helping both non-profits who provide much-needed assistance to the area's senior population. The Holiday Hat Bash was born and is expected to be an annual event.
The inaugural Hat Bash will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, December 3rd at CASI, 1035 West Kimberly Road in Davenport. Admission is a tax-free donation to the Senior Santa and Holiday Food Basket programs. Hats are encouraged but not required.
Deemed "a party with a purpose," this new fundraiser has several twists and will be a must see. CASI's hall will be lit up with holiday lights inside and out, and Lifestyles Furniture will be providing its unique, brightly colored leather furniture to turn the hall into a colorful lounge. The night will feature wine tasting by The Grape Life and beer tasting by Great River Brewery. Appetizers are provided by some of the best chefs at the area's senior living communities: Jersey Ridge Place, The Fountains, Senior Star at Elmore Place, and Park Vista Senior Living.
"What a fun way to help seniors have a happy holiday," said Gwen Tombergs, chair of the Holiday Hat Bash. "Our senior population is growing and they desperately need the help of these two great organizations. Our solution is the Holiday Hat Bash. It's fun, it's simple and it will be a great networking opportunity for business people."
Sponsors include Northwest Bank & Trust; Tri State Windows, Siding & Roofing; Eye Surgeons Associates; Lifestyles Furniture; The Grape Life; Great River Brewery; Metro MRI; WHBF TV4; RTV4; Star 93.5; and Davenport Printing.
Donations can be sent to CASI Holiday Hat Bash, c/o Northwest Bank & Trust, 100 West Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA 52806. For more information, call Gwen Tombergs at 563-343-2058 or Jane VenHorst at 563-355-1683.