Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 1:09 pm | Mostly Cloudy 65º


Marymount of Santa Barbara Tips Its Hats at Mad Hatter’s Ball

Entering through a giant “rabbit hole,” guests were whisked into a world of fantasy at Marymount of Santa Barbara’s 2013 auction, The Mad Hatter’s Ball, which took place March 16 at Montecito Country Club.

A committee of 50 volunteers created décor that transformed the club into an environment inspired by both Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton’s modern version of the classic. This was a not-to-miss party and all the familiar characters were there: The Caterpillar atop a giant mushroom, the Cheshire Cat with his glowing smile, the Red Queen and close to 300 enthusiastic mad-hatters.

Kamala Parris, auction co-chairwoman, came as the White Queen and co-chairwoman Vivienne Ninness as Alice. Head of School Andrew Wooden was none other than the White Rabbit. Former Head of School Deborah David made a special trip to Santa Barbara to support the event and described her Marymount homecoming “as a giant hug.” Master of Ceremonies and Hollywood favorite Kate Somerville did a tremendous job of rallying revelers for the important task of the evening: supporting Marymount’s innovative programs and learning environment for its junior kindergarten to eighth-grade students.

A live auction featuring a trip to the Fijian island of Tavarua, a party for 60 at one of Santa Barbara’s most beautiful and private locations, a painting by Marymount alumna and Oak Group co-founder Meredith Brooks Abbott, colorful and creative student artwork, and a long weekend at a private ranch in Santa Ynez were among the items for which guests vied after a sumptuous dinner.

From left, Ginger Salazar-Matthews, Hilary Doubleday and Yvette Giller. (Marymount of Santa Barbara photo)
From left, Ginger Salazar-Matthews, Hilary Doubleday and Yvette Giller. (Marymount of Santa Barbara photo)

In addition to the live items, guests were able to support Marymount’s beloved faculty through Teachers’ Treasures and an online silent auction featuring Lunch with Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, student adventures with faculty and items from numerous local businesses. Wooden’s Paddle Raise “Imagine More!” inspired guests to go the extra mile for a school clearly loved by its community of parents, students, teachers, staff, alumni and past parents.

The Marymount community has a strong record of supporting Marymount, a school that is known for providing a unique program that fosters intellectual achievement while developing the individual principles and character traits that students need for success in the future. The gratitude for what Marymount does for its students, and, by extension, the wider community, is evident in last year’s 98 percent parent participation in the School’s Annual Fund and an unprecedented number of members in the Marymount’s Headmaster’s Club of giving. This year’s Mad Hatter’s Ball was the most successful fundraiser since 2006, indicating gratitude yet again, as well as confidence in the leadership and direction of the school.

The fun, creative and successful evening would not have been possible without the team efforts of Parris and Ninness, Marymount’s development staff, board support, numerous generous sponsors, administration efforts, and the 50 committee members who spent countless hours designing décor and reaching out to the community to support Marymount.

Marymount is an independent coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. Building on a 75-year tradition of excellence, the educators at Marymount have crafted a unique learning experience that blends mastery of core subjects with acquisition of the essential skills students need to navigate and be successful in a rapidly evolving world.?

Click here for more information about Marymount of Santa Barbara.

— Molly Seguel is admissions director at Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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