Ploehn, Tombergs duke it out for CASI fundraiser

In an effort to punch up fundraising efforts, Decker Ploehn, left, and Gwen Tombergs, right, are squaring off to raise money for CASI’s new Pass the Hat pre-holiday Hat Bash fundraiser. The Center for Active Seniors will launch the new online fundraiser at a kick-off event Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Davenport center. Also pictured is referee Scott Nauman. CREDIT CASI

Fundraising for CASI – the Center for Active Seniors in Davenport – has taken a fun turn with a pre-holiday Hat Bash fundraiser called Pass the Hat.  

CASI board member and Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn will square off with Gwen Tombergs, past CASI chair and creator of the Hat Bash, to see who can raise the most money from Tuesday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 16. 

Pass the Hat is an easy peer-to-peer, online fundraising link that volunteers share with their friends and colleagues. Every volunteer who raises a minimum of $300 will receive a free ticket to CASI’s annual Holiday Hat Bash planned for Thursday, Nov. 16. Organizers expect the major fundraiser to sell out with more than 500 attendees. 

Fundraising is critical for CASI this year as some of its funding for important services to low-income seniors have been cut. In particular, Jane’s Place – the Iowa Quad Cities’ only adult day center – has seen its funding cut so dramatically that leaders feared the program could be shuttered. 

Pass the Hat will help close that funding gap left by the budget cuts even before the senior advocacy organization’s key fundraiser, Holiday Hat Bash. 

Companies and individuals who are interested in participating in Pass the Hat and supporting CASI are invited to a Kick-Off Informational Cocktail Rally at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26, at CASI’s center, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport. Beverages and snacks will be provided. 

To RSVP or for more information, email Sue Rector at or call (563) 386-7477, ext. 229. 

CASI’s 15th Holiday Hat Bash is supported by co-presenting sponsors DECCO, LivWell Seniors, Necker’s Jewelers and Van Meter, Inc.  

Founded in 1973, CASI has spent 2023 celebrating 50 years as eastern Iowa’s premier nationally accredited and comprehensive senior center. It provides services that promote independence and enrich the lives of older adults through socialization, health and wellness, and supportive services. 

CASI’s senior center in northwest Davenport boasts a 40,000-square-foot activity center, Jane’s Place Adult Day Services and a team of six senior advocates. 

For more information, visit

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