Queen of Hearts Tea Party

Mary Beth Fisher

The Hermosa Ballroom at Robson Ranch, AZ was the place to be Sunday, March 12, for the third annual event to benefit local caregivers in Pinal County and the Alzheimer’s Association DSW in Phoenix. The tea party featured plenty of tea, special cocktails and a delicious lunch and fond memories. The Strings of the Sonoran entertained through lunch. This volunteer group of string instrument musicians enjoyed several standing ovations for their performances. The afternoon included speakers and literature about Alzheimer’s disease.

The Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter theme continued this year, and several attendees dressed in unique costumes while most brought their tea cups and wore their special hats. The gentlemen attending wore their favorite sports ball caps to fedoras, and a creative 9-year old made the full Easter rabbit scene on his large brimmed hat. However, the ladies stole the show in hats over 50 years old to the beautiful wide brimmed organzas and self-designed creations including one with playing cards featuring the theme of the Queen of Hearts.

Barb Wilson as the Queen and Allie DeValk as the Mad Hatter worked the room encouraging the tea party guests to visit the dedicated tables honoring and remembering those loved ones traveling this winding road of dementia. The Memory for a Memory exchange was a highlight as a donated gift honoring someone is exchanged with someone who shares their memory in the Forget Me Not.

The Plumville Project, Robson Ranch’s fabulous duo of Sandy Crawford as the voice and Jerry Byville on the wind instrument, provided entertainment for the afternoon as the guests made their silent auction bids and selected the perfect raffle item for their ticket. This year, through the generosity of anonymous donors, two tables were donated for caregivers and their loved ones. Their responses were so heartwarming as they said, “Without these generous thoughtful donors we could not have attended and we enjoyed ourselves and you made us feel so welcome; it was fabulous.”

As the organizer, each year I so appreciate the support from the local communities as well as those who travel to attend this event, and I enjoy the big support from my Robson friends and neighbors. This year I met the Chocolate Lady from Mission Royale who with her friends make Chocolates for Charity; they donated chocolate for the tea party as well as a sizeable donation from a March 4 event they held dedicated to honor Bill. Bill was a friend and neighbor who had passed away two weeks prior from this currently incurable disease, and these 19 ladies wanted to honor Bill and his family. His children and grandchildren attended the tea party.

This annual event is dedicated to my high school friend, Ann, who passed away two years ago with this disease. The goal is to raise funds to support Pinal County caregivers as well as money for research, and with the help of a multi-talented committee and the faithful attendees we were able to donate nearly $7,000 this year to the two organizations.

Mark your calendars for March 3, 2018 for a Margarita Ville event on Saturday night at the Hermosa Ballroom. This is a change of theme, but my goal is to provide a fun event while supporting this cause near and dear to my heart.