Peggy Armstrong, the oldest participant, with her winning hat. Dawn McCormick photo:

Mad Hatter turns up at Tea Party

By Dawn McCormick

The first Mad Hatter Tea Party to benefit Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach took place on Saturday, Mar. 9, at the Barriere Seniors Center. The event was capably organized by Margaret Houben with help from brothers Antoon and Wim Houben.

Josiah Sweetnam made a fabulous Mad Hatter, Barriere Librarian Pam Rudd aced her part as the Dormouse, and District of Barriere Councilor Judy Armstrong sparkled as the Queen of Hearts. With the festive table settings and tea cup center pieces, the luncheon was served by head cook Maryse Berube and kitchen volunteers, Loralee, Alice, Harmony and Brenda who all got into the spirit of the day by wearing some great hats as they served tea, sandwiches (with some of the sandwiches cut into the shapes of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades), and tasty finger desserts.

Tea party games in the spirit of Alice in Wonderland were popular. The flamingo croquet game using a stuffie hedgehog as the ball was the most lively, with the Dormouse and the Mad Hatter joining in with the Queen of Hearts. The Tea Cup centerpieces became the door prizes, and then many costume and hat prizes were given out. Among the prizes were card themed cups, saucers, and trivets, tea pots, tea, colouring books and Alice in Wonderland books.

The oldest attendee was Peggy Armstrong who won a prize for her most delightful tea party hat. North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association Ambassador Taylor Johnson was also in attendance looking lovely in her sash and crown.

In all, $100 was raised for Barriere Literacy who fund local programs such as the Parent Child Mother Goose program on Fridays at the Ridge, the Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) program, no cost tutoring for local children needing assistance with homework, and tutoring for kids using the Kamloops On-line Learning (KOOL) program. Barriere Literacy Outreach has also sponsored learning programs such as the Summer Day Camps Science program for grades k-2, and provided book prizes for various events like the Baby Party, Breakfast With Santa, and the Teddy Bear’s Picnic recently held at the Ridge. Margaret Houben says she already has next year’s Tea Party event in the planning, this time with Alice and chums going to Treasure Island.

Mark your calendars now for the second Saturday in March.


District of Barriere Councilor Donna Kibble, Daphne Sweetnam, The Mad Hatter (Josiah Sweetnam) and Antoon Houben at the March 9, Mad Hatter Tea Party in Barriere. Margaret Houben photo:

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