The Hats Off Luncheon presented by the Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks, is the Cincinnati Parks Foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year. The Luncheon fundraising ensures the Foundation can continue to fulfill its mission of improving Cincinnati’s neighborhood parks. The fundraiser supports the main initiatives of the Foundation, including conservation, activation, and advocacy. Proceeds are used wherever they benefit the parks system most, from parks programming to capital projects, to underwriting general operating support. In addition, the Foundation makes a donation to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, to provide meals for children in their before-and-after school programs.
The Cincinnati Parks Foundation, it’s Board of Directors, and the Women’s Committee of Cincinnati Parks are pleased to announce that the 15th Annual Hats Off Luncheon raised more than $488,000!
About the Luncheon
Founded in 2007 by Helen Heekin and Debbie Oliver, the Annual Hats Off Luncheon has raised more than $4 million for the city’s parks system, which is ranked among the top in the United States.
The Hats Off Luncheon process begins with naming Honorary Co-Chairs a year in advance. This year’s Honorary Co-Chairs were Sheila Simmons and Ellen Sole. Ellen is a Founding member of The Women’s Committee, was an active Parks docent, and served on the Board for 5 years. Shelia led the Sponsorship Committee for the namesake event, is also a Women’s Committee member, and has served on the Board for the last two years.
“The last two years have been a drain on everyone. Yet, going to the Cincinnati Parks and seeing the smiles, activities, and family outings you realize we are all human, caught up in something beyond our control. But here in Parks is a place that provides a bit of normalcy, fun, and becomes an extension of our outdoor home,” said Sole.
“As a Board member for the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with some amazing people, all of whom have a genuine desire to make our parks a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy. I call the parks my place of peace and are where I go give thanks for my blessings and clear my head when life gets a little overwhelming. Co-Chairing this year’s Hat’s Off Luncheon was the pinnacle of service for a cause that is near and dear to my heart and my mental health,” said Simmons.
Each year the Hats Off Luncheon has a new and engaging theme. For this year’s 15th Annual Hats Off Luncheon, the theme was “Art Deco Afternoon: Picnic in Your Parks,” for a revival of the 1920-30’s when art, architecture, and Jazz roared into fashion. It was a celebration and historical nod to the Cincinnati Park system, whose foundation was laid over 100 years ago. Of the 135 architectural structures existing in Cincinnati Parks today, nearly half were produced during the period from 1929 to 1943. Also celebrated in this year’s Art Deco theme is the popular fashion of the era and the rich history of the Jazz Age of music.
Thank you to all of the volunteers and sponsors who made this year’s Hats Off Luncheon a massive success!