Mad Hatter’s Tea Out of Africa Into the Garden Welcomed a Sold-Out Crowd to the Dallas Arboretum

(Featured photo: Kay Weeks, President, Women’s Council; Carole Ann Brown, Honorary Chair; Jolie Humphrey, Chair, Mad Hatter’s Tea.)*

Mad Hatter’s Tea is Celebrating its 33rd Year benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and A Woman’s Garden

Jolie Humphrey, chair of Mad Hatter’s Tea Out of Africa Into the Garden, along with Kay Weeks, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and honorary chair, Carole Ann Brown, celebrated the spring season and A Woman’s Garden with a sold-out crowd at the 33rd Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea among the glorious floral displays at the Dallas Arboretum.

There was a stirring of excitement as patrons gathered at one of the very first full-of-fun events to be outdoors this year. The crowd started gathering just before the 1:00 p.m. opening as everyone enjoyed the champagne reception under the clear skies in the Scott K. Ginsburg Family Plaza. Smiles abounded and hats were adjusted as everyone found their friends and paraded before the hat judges on the green carpet walkway, vying for the coveted hat prizes.

Guests were chatting about the Safari Surprise Boxes and Silent Auction as many purchased the limited-edition custom silk scarf created by Barbara Elam, a nationally renowned artist who also created the poster for the Mad Hatter’s theme.

Kay began announcements by thanking Jolie for her relentless tenacity on keeping the experience an in-person celebration and her boundless creativity and style incorporating the theme into all aspects of the event. She thanked sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Park Place Motorcars, TOOTSIES, who sponsored the informal modeling and Linda and Frank Spina as underwriters for the Judges Reveal and Patron Party chaired by Therese Rourk and Dyann Skelton. Out of Africa sponsor was Carole Ann Brown. Jardim Tundura sponsors were Dr. Linda Burk and Sherwood Wagner. Aburi Botanic sponsors were Suzanne Caruso, Robin Carreker, Jolie Humphrey, Lindsay Loughlin, Jackie Ondracek, Sidley Austin LLP, Lisa Troutt and Kay Weeks.  Contributing sponsors included TOOTSIES, Westwood Management, Veritex Community Bank and Mary MacRae. Media sponsors were People Newspapers and My Sweet Charity.

Jolie gave special recognition to honorary chair Carole Ann Brown as the first Mad Hatter’s Tea chair in 1989, her longtime service as a philanthropic leader, event chair for many Women’s Council events, service on many committees and her continued and steadfast love and dedication to the Women’s Council.

Kim Noltemy, Hat Judge; Giana de Paul, Ken Weber, Hat Judge; Donna Arp Weitzman, Patti Flowers, Hat Judge*

Hat Judges came to the stage one by one, announcing the winners in each category beginning with Judge: Kim Noltemy, President and CEO, Dallas Symphony Orchestra: African Floral Garden: Best Botanical Using Fresh Florals. Winner: Jennifer Bell.  Judge: Giuliano Matarese, Chef Restauranteur and partner in Fattoria Svetoni, a winery/luxury resort in Montepulciano: Sundowner Chic: “Cocktail Hour in Africa,” Most Fascinating Fascinator. Winner: Tatiana Graham. Judge: C’Mone Wingo, DPD, retired detective: African Queen: Most “True to Africa.” Winner: Jordi Bostock. Judge Nick Wingo, DPD, retired sergeant: Animal Instinct: Most Outlandish! Go Wild!  Winner: Elizabeth Smith Theis. Judge: Patti Flowers, Patti Flowers Design Studio: Karen Blixen Style: Most Elegant & Romantic. Winner: Yvonne Evans. Judge: Gregg Hudson, President and CEO, Dallas Zoo: Out of Africa: Most “True to Theme.” Winner: Kimble Wooten. Judge: Ken Weber, Vintage Martini: Safari Riders: Best Group in Hats. Sherwood’s Chapeaux Safari: Sherwood Wagner, Marena Gault, Sharon Popham, Lisa Evert.  

After a rousing round of applause, the doors to Rosline Hall opened and guests enjoyed a lovely, seated afternoon tea by Gil’s Elegant Catering featuring traditional scones, tea sandwiches, sweet desserts, animal cookie favors by Sweets by Belinda and a spring fashion promenade presented by TOOTSIES produced by Jan Strimple.  After the event, it was perfect timing to get together with friends amongst the glorious springtime displays and flowers that grace the Dallas Arboretum and the many features of A Woman’s Garden.

Visit:  for additional information.

 ABOUT THE WOMEN’S COUNCIL:  Since 1986 the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden. The Women’s Council is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

ABOUT A WOMAN’S GARDEN: A Woman’s Garden is the only garden in the nation conceived, constructed and maintained by the funding efforts of women. Ablaze with color in every season, A Woman’s Garden sits majestically as a living testament to the passion and vision of the Women’s Council founders and the boundless energy and devotion of its members whose commitment to creating a garden dedicated to the universal spirit of women across generations is realized in its inspired design. Our beautiful garden celebrates the power, creativity, resourcefulness, passion and unwavering commitment of the women who came before us and those entrusted with its care now, and into the future.

*Photos by Danny Campbell and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studios

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden special events: Mad Hatter’s Tea and A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.