22nd Annual Leffingwell Awards “Hat” Luncheon Raises almost $400,000
for Park Maintenance and Education
ST. LOUIS, June 14, 2012 – Forest Park Forever welcomed 1,100 guests in fanciful hats, who attended the 22nd Annual Leffingwell Awards “Hat” Luncheon on Thursday, June 7. The annual event raised more than $340,000 in sponsorships for St. Louis’ beloved Forest Park, which will fund ongoing maintenance and educational programs for the Park.
The event’s principal sponsor, Regional Business Council, was joined by Emerson, Stifel Nicolaus, Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones, Monsanto Company, Peabody Energy, Ameren Missouri, The Crawford Taylor Foundation, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Judy & Dennis Jones and many more to honor the late Todd Epsten and Sue McCollum for their service, support and successful efforts on behalf of Forest Park.
The luncheon was created to pay tribute to the spirit of Hiram W. Leffingwell, whose vision resulted in the creation of Forest Park in 1876, and culminates with the presentation of the Leffingwell Award, bestowed upon corporations, foundations or individuals who have made a significant contribution of time, talent or resource to the restoration of Forest Park. The 2011 Award recognized Mayor Francis G. Slay for his continued efforts toward creating, renovating and sustaining the incredible movement that is Forest Park Forever – a national model for public-private partnership.
This year’s luncheon co-chairs, Debra Hollingsworth and Ida H. Early, helped raise funds for the event and continue to play a vital role in the restoration, preservation and educational programs for the Park. They also reminded us that in order for Forest Park to thrive for future generations, it needs to be nurtured now, by everyone in our region.
The event was “topped off” by the Wells Fargo Advisors Hat Contest. During the event, 16 winners from the more than 1,000 hats were selected by anonymous judges in the categories of “Romantic,” “Whimsical,” “Vintage,” and “Couture.” Southwest Airlines Co. – the Official Airline Sponsor continued their support with “Freedom to Fly” prizes, and awarded free round-trip tickets to each person at the “best theme” tables. Additionally, each of the 110 tables nominated its own “Table Winner.” Tiffany and Co. also sponsored a Mystery Blue Bag Event, 200 blue bags were sold for $50 each, 50 contained a beautiful Tiffany coffee mug, 49 contained a Tiffany & Co. sterling silver charm and one lucky winner won a sterling silver and diamond necklace on an 30” pendant chain. The Tiffany’s Mystery Blue Bag Event raised an additional $10,000 during the luncheon.
With great prizes and bragging rights on the line, guests pulled out all the stops, donning some of the most beautiful and creative toppers in the history of the event. The hat contest, coupled with the opportunity to dine al fresco on a spectacular June day with fellow Forest Park Forever supporters, proved a winning combination.
President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever, Lesley Hoffarth, was thrilled with the outcome of this year’s event.
“The 2012 Leffingwell Awards “Hat” Luncheon was an event enjoyed by all who attended,” said Hoffarth. “Thanks to the tireless leadership and dedication put forth by Todd Espten and Sue McCollum over the years and many others like them, Forest Park continues to be a beloved attraction in the community.”
Each guest took home a set of stone coasters courtesy of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center.
Secret judges for the event were:
Ellen Soule – Ellen Soule Public Relations
Susan Block – The Designing Block
Shannon Berry Meyer – Missouri History Museum
Jan Leach – St. Louis Magazine
Alan Brainnerd – Ladue News
Hat Contest Winners
Best Romantic HatsBest Vintage Hats
Marletta WilliamsLinda Statler
Amy Lorenz MoserMollie Trustie
Mary Claire MoserBeverly Anderson
Mary NelsonSara Arunski
Best Couture HatsBest Whimsical Hats
Michelle LaneMattie Moore
Joan BerkmanKristin Peterson
Karin UpwoodAlana Sherman
Diane IsbellFran Zamler
Best Themed Table
About Forest Park Forever
In 1986, Forest Park Forever, a private, not-for-profit organization, was founded to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.
What to do with your Hat from Luncheon?
Donate Your Hats
Rung & Forest Park Forever are partners in the
“Green Ladies’ Hat Coalition.”
Hat donations are tax-deductible and 1/2 of all hat sale proceeds go to Forest Park Forever. Plus, you’ll get 20% off your entire purchase when you donate ladies’ hats with this coupon.*
Rung’s mission is to bolster the confidence of professional women in the business world by offering professional attire at affordable prices in a boutique atmosphere that provides a fun and uplifting experience. 100% of all profits go to the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis, a volunteer organization that funds community projects that support women’s educational, socio-economic and health needs.
We Are Grateful to our Generous 2012 Sponsors
A special thanks to our Corporate Sponsors who are committed to the maintenance of Forest Park.
Supporting expanded public awareness of the importance of Forest Park maintenance.
Forest Park Forever is fortunate to have a wonderfully diverse group in its Women’s Committee. This group has become an icon among fundraising auxiliaries in the St. Louis region and the Luncheon is one of the well-known, eagerly anticipated events in our community. It is a wonderful celebration of the diversity and energy of the people of St. Louis, attracting women and men from a variety of cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Each year the luncheon raises funds to support the maintenance of Forest Park as well as the education programs which are designed to encourage stewardship for the Park among young people. click-here-for-committee-list