CASI volunteers raise $150k at annual Hat Bash

center for active seniors hat bash CASI
Hat Bash creator and a past CASI chair Gwen Tombergs and Hat Bash emcee Decker Ploehn, Bettendorf’s city administrator and CASI board member, squared off to see who could raise the most money from Tuesday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 16. CREDIT JENNIFER DEWITT

The holiday spirit was alive and well as the Quad Cities answered the call and donated more than $150,000 to the Center for Active Seniors through its annual Hat Bash fundraiser last week. 

In a news release on Tuesday, Nov. 20, CASI announced the results of its hugely successful Hat Bash. The total more than doubled the Davenport senior service provider’s original goal of $75,000. 

According to CASI, a pre-event fundraiser called “Pass the Hat” raised an initial $40,000. The new event — spearheaded by Hat Bash creator Gwen Tombergs, a past CASI chair, and Hat Bash emcee Decker Ploehn, Bettendorf’s city administrator and CASI board member — pitted the two Mad Hatters against each other to see who could raise the most money. 

Then, with more than 400 attendees at the Hat Bash fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 16, at CASI’s 1035 W. Kimberly Road center, the campaign total hit more than $150,000.  

“Our volunteers, donors and supporters are the reason this campaign was so successful,” Ms. Tombergs said in the release. “CASI is an important asset in our community that helps so many seniors, especially low-income seniors. This funding will help them carry out their mission and the timing is perfect since a major heating repair is needed at CASI before the cold sets in our area.” 

Proceeds from the event benefit CASI’s senior services, including Jane’s Place, which is the Iowa Quad Cities’ only adult day care center. The program faced deep budget cuts this year from the Scott County Board of Supervisors. 

Presenting sponsors were: Davenport Electric Contract Company, LivWell Seniors, Necker’s Jewelers and Van Meter. 

In addition to hosting its 15th Hat Bash, CASI now is busy trying to make sure area seniors have a brighter holiday season. The service provider’s Senior Secret Santa program is in full swing. Hundreds of Wish Tags (each with a senior’s wish) are now available at CASI through Monday, Dec. 4, waiting for supporters to take them and help out a senior. All gifts and gift tags must be returned to CASI by Friday, Dec. 8.

Additional donations to support CASI can be made on its website, or checks may be sent to CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport IA 52806.  For more information, contact Sue Rector at [email protected] or call (563) 386-7477. 

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