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Happy Mad Hatters! Transition House Auxiliary Luncheon Sets Fundraising Record

The Transition House Auxiliary presented an eye-popping $110,000 to Transition House, their largest annual gift to date, thanks to proceeds from their successful signature event, the Mad Hatter luncheon held May 1.

The luncheon, which earns funding for Transition House’s programs for homeless children, was emceed by Andrew Firestone and took place at Bacara Resort & Spa on May 1.

Event co-chairs Diane White and Kathryn Dinkin led a team that topped previous years’ proceeds, thanks in part to many generous sponsors and a grand silent auction. The biggest surprise of the event came in the form of a surprise, on-site matching funds challenge made by Network Hardware Resale CEO Mike Sheldon.

Inspired by the speakers and the mission of Transition House, Sheldon took to the microphone to challenge Mad Hatter attendees. He said his company would match their donations up to $25,000. Hands shot up around the room and NHR employees happily wrote down pledges. Their generosity joined with the funds raised through other Mad Hatter events to reach the record-setting total.

“We are so pleased, honored and thrilled to receive this support from the hard work of the Auxiliary and from our friends at Network Hardware,” Transition House Executive Director Kathleen Baushke said. “The Auxiliary have been devoted partners for over 20 years and this shows their continued devotion to helping homeless families with children get their lives back.”

“Having a local company like Network Hardware show its support for our community and our neighbors was really inspiring,” Transition House board president Jim Buckley said. “Then to watch all those hands go up, wow, that brought tears to my eyes.”

Funds from the annual Mad Hatter luncheon are aimed at making sure that the families at the Transition House family shelter have all their needs met, especially those of the more than 400 children who spend some part of the year there. The Auxiliary’s support has long been a backbone of the agency.

“I can’t wait to see what they do next year!” Buckley said.

— Kathleen Baushke is executive director of Transition House.

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