Forest Park Forever’s 2016 Hat Luncheon Draws Record Crowd and Raises Vital Funds for Forest Park Improvements & Maintenance

KMOX News Anchor Carol Daniel emceed this year’s Hat Luncheon; event co-chairs were Susan Stith and Sara Wade of Express Scripts

Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager | | 314.561.3290

ST. LOUIS, June 10, 2016 – Forest Park Forever, the nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park, welcomed nearly 1,200 Park supporters to the World's Fair Pavilion for its annual Hat Luncheon on Thursday, June 9.

Guests of this exciting annual event donned hats and other fanciful headwear in every shape and size in anticipation of winning terrific prizes for their creative and stylish millinery, all while supporting Forest Park. Between ticket sales, sponsorships and a raffle, the event raised more than $400,000 to support critical maintenance of Forest Park.

KMOX News Anchor Carol Daniel served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the luncheon, which culminated with the Stifel Hat Contest. Winners were announced and brought to the stage in several categories including: Romantic, Whimsical, Fascinator, Vintage, Couture, Best Male Hat, Best in Show and Best Table Theme.

This year’s Hat Contest was judged by an esteemed group of stylish St. Louisans, including Debra Bass, St. Louis Post-Disptach; Jill Firns, Blogger & Freelance Fashion Writer; Micaela Hasenmueller, ALIVE Magazine; Jennifer Ingram, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts; Linda Kuenzie, Macy's - West County; Chajuana Trawick, Lindenwood University; Monica Tyson, Clare's of Clayton Salon; and Pat Whitaker, St. Louis Fashion Fund. The winners were:

  • Romantic: Rochelle Jones, Eva Fraser and Seqwana Pryor
  • Whimsical: Anna Leavey, Julia Crump and Jeannette Harris
  • Vintage: Latanya Reeves, Kathy Dabrowski and Barb Valentine
  • Couture: Chelsey Oliver, Leisa Zigman and Mia Malcom
  • Fascinator: Nan Murch, Debby Gray and Penny Ledet
  • Best Male Hat: Everett Dietle
  • Best in Show: Dawn Baker
  • Best Table Theme: Purina

This year’s sold-out luncheon, now in its 26th year, was presented by The Women’s Committee of Forest Park Forever and co-chairs Susan Stith and Sara Wade of Express Scripts.

“We are inspired by the generosity of the community members who took part in the 2016 Forest Park Forever Hat Luncheon,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, President and Executive Director of the conservancy. “From our fantastic co-chairs and Women’s Committee members to our generous sponsors and stylish attendees, this year’s Hat Luncheon was a phenomenal success. Funds raised today will help Forest Park Forever maintain and sustain this treasured destination for its more than 13 million visitors each year.”

Presenting sponsors of the 2016 Hat Luncheon included Edward Jones, Express Scripts, Emerson and Stifel. A full list of sponsors and in-kind donors can be found at

About Forest Park Forever

Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works 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 greatest urban public parks.

Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box.

Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Not part of the Zoo-Museum Tax District, Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 7,000 members, 1,100 volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.

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