Mad Hatter’s Tea Celebrates 32 years Of Fundraising For The Dallas Arboretum

By Cynthia Smoot          Photography by Dana Drienski

THE SETTING: Before COVID-19, MIcah Gilbert, owner of Empressive Earth Gallery, along with his mother, Empress Gilbert, opened the gallery’s stunning showroom to host the Mad Hatter’s Tea’s The Art of Chic Judges and Hat Categories Reveal Party. The Women’s Council President, Venise Stuart, and Patti Flowers, the Mad Hatter’s Tea chair, welcomed guests as everyone wandered through the lavish gallery, which showcased fabulous minerals, fossils and corals.

THE STYLE: Celebrating its 32nd  year, the organization’s main event was canceled due to the COVID- 19 virus shelter-in-place order. It has been an ongoing fundraising affair sponsored by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Mad Hatter categories are: The Art of the Garden: Botanical Beauty; The Art of Music: Sounds of the Season; The Art of Dance: Magical Movement; The Art of Fashion: Fabulously Fashionable; The Art of Chivalry: The Most Elegant of Gentlemen; The Chic Chapeau: Simply Chic: The Marilyn Hailey Award. It’s always a fan favorite and this occasion evoked the spirit of the annual garden party.

THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Regina Bruce and Joni Krieg, and Robin Carreker served as the honorary chair. As in the past, Tootsies continued their sponsorship of the Mad Hatter’s Tea fashion show that is produced by the Jan Strimple. The funds that were raised grow and maintain A Woman’s Garden, a nationally acclaimed garden at the Dallas Arboretum. In the spirit of the Mad Hatter’s Tea and to support A Woman’s Garden, a flashback was created, including photos and a video.