Mad Hatter Luncheon

A Benefit for Transition House’s Programs for Children

Each year, the Transition House Auxiliary hosts its Annual Mad Hatter Luncheon to raise funds to benefit children currently experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara.

The event features a silent auction, raffle grand prizes, musical entertainment and the Auxiliary’s signature hat contest.

Transition House Auxiliary Pulls Rabbit Out of a Hat

Like many groups, the Transition House Auxiliary made the thoughtful decision to cancel its 23rd Annual Mad Hatter Luncheon previously scheduled for April 22, 2020. More than 200 guests were expected to fill the ballroom at the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito for the annual fundraiser.

Despite the cancellation of our annual event, many of our donors stepped up to continue their support. The Transition House Auxiliary surprised staff on June 15, 2020 with a check for $55,000 even though the event never happened.

“When Aprils Mad Hatter event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, we didn’t expect to see any donations,” said Kathleen Baushke, Executive Director of Transition House. “So when the Transition House Auxiliary told us that they’d raised all that money even without being able to hold the actual event, we were so thrilled.”

“We were, of course, disappointed we could not hold the Mad Hatter, but we completely agreed with the decision,” said Auxiliary president Carolyn Creasey. “However, our members believe so strongly in Transition House, we all rallied – virtually, of course – to make the best of it.”

Natalie Graves, Director of Finance, and Kathleen Baushke, Executive Director receive the surprise check from this year’s cancelled event. (June 15, 2020)

The Auxiliary members were especially pleased to see so many event sponsors continue their support, even without the chance to have lunch together. In addition, dozens of people who had bought tickets to the event said they’d be happy just to have that money donated to Transition House.

Kathleen Baushke, Executive Director, says, “In a time when so many people and nonprofits are struggling, this amazing effort by the Transition House Auxiliary showed just how generous our community can really be. We truly appreciate it.”

Our deepest thanks to our Mad Hatter sponsors, volunteers, and Auxiliary Friends who give so generously to Transition House families.