Hats to Turn Heads for ‘A Night at the Derby’

Apr 03, 2019
Courtesy of: Hunger Foundation Of Southern Ocean

“Be sure to attend in Derby attire!” say the posters inviting ticket holders to the 24th Annual Hunger Relief Dinner & Auction, the themed gourmet gala that to date has raised more than $1 million for food pantries serving Southern Ocean County.

This year’s theme, “A Night at the Derby,” invites attendees to experience “the hats, horses, jockeys, juleps, flavors and Southern hospitality of the Kentucky Derby.” The event is May 1 at The Mainland at Holiday Inn in Manahawkin.

The hats! Where to get the hat to fit the occasion? we ask. That’s taken care of.

Kentucky Derby hats for women and men will be on sale for the evening, provided by Mod Hatter of Beach Haven.

Part of the sale proceeds will go to the Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean, which organizes the dinner/auction.

The Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean (also known as the Southern Ocean County Community Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, volunteer-only organization that hosts charitable events to raise awareness about, and funds for, local food pantries as they help thousands of families each year in the Southern Ocean County area.

The Mod Hatter’s owner, Tina Wayne Berman, was asked to bring hats for sale to the dinner. She is also opening her seasonal store early, at 1103 North Bay Ave. in Beach Haven, for a special shopping day. Twenty percent of the sales on both dates will be donated to the Foundation.

“I am very excited to bring The Mod Hatter’s collections of women’s adorned wide-brimmed hats, headband fascinators and men’s fedoras and boaters to the Hunger Relief dinner on May 1,” she said.

“In addition we are opening the store on April 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who would like to purchase his or her hat prior to the event. We will be able to custom trim the hats at the store on April 13 if anyone has a special vision or request.”

Traditionally, hats have been sported at the Kentucky Derby to shield the Southern sun, but from the beginning of the Churchill Downs experience that started in 1875, they were head-on a fashion statement.

Berman has designed hats specifically for the derby in the past.

She said, “Sometimes the hats are over-the-top beautiful and sometimes they are silly. Many years ago, I designed a hat covered in roses for my mother-in-law who was going to the Kentucky Derby. The derby is known as Run for the Roses, as the winning horse is blanketed with roses.

“My other business, Rasta Imposta (costumes and novelty hats) once sold hats to the Kentucky Derby museum. We designed a Mint Julep Hat – the traditional drink of the festivities surrounding the Kentucky Derby.”

Tickets to A Night at the Derby are $200 per person. The event starts at 5:45 p.m.

There are three ways to purchase tickets: on the website HFOSO.org, or call 609-789-5570, or mail checks to 297 Route 72 West #270, Suite 35, Manahawkin, N.J. 08050.

— Maria Scandale


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