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Mad Hatter Tea Party raises funds for fall North Thompson fair and rodeo program

The annual event’s fourth subtheme was Robin Hood, organizer says

Patrons of this year’s Mad Hatter Tea Party raised $400 for the North Thompson Fall Fair & Rodeo Association’s Ambassador Program.

Margaret Houben picks a different community organization to donate funds from the event to each year, she told the Star Journal.

“This was my baby from day one,” she said. “I have more fun putting this together every year than anything.”

This year is the fourth time Houben put on the event, which always happens on the second Saturday of March.

It all started with a spark of simple creativity more than five years ago, when she wanted to recreate the magic of Alice in Wonderland and raise a bit of money for Barriere & Area Literacy.

Members of fall fair and rodeo association have always helped Houben organize the event in some way or another, so she’s become familiar with the program.

“They’ve helped me for the past three years, I thought ‘they are getting the money this year.’”

Since the first event in 2019, she added a sub-theme to keep things fresh.

This year’s sub-theme was Robin Hood, so many guests ended up sharing door prizes of chocolate goodies with one another. The highlight of the event was the array of hats which a panel of judges gave out hats for. Cynthia won first place, Brian Baker won second place and Dyven Bloomfield won the third place prize with a hat she made herself.

One of the event’s feature activities is Alice in Wonderland-style croquet, played with a flamingo lawn ornament as a bat and a stuffed hedgehog as a ball: just like in the book Houben loves.

Houben’s brothers, Win Houben and Antoon Houben, always help her make the event a reality. Houben is already planning next year’s event, which will have the literary sub-theme of The Witches by Roald Dhal.

All of the materials for the event, including the lunch, were donated to the event. This included 30 door prizes, and the hat prizes.

Houben is grateful to the Armour Mountain Bookkeeping and Tax Services for donating the cost of printing place mats, tickets and other printed materials for the event.

Houben also wanted to thank the Barriere Lions Club for donating its hall for the venue during the event, along with all the people who donated, she said.

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About the Author: Morgana Adby, Local Journalism Initiative

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