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Mad Hatter’s Ball in Lake Placid to help women’s retreats

Ursula Trudeau, the first Mad Hatter, wears her feathered hat to the ball in 2011.

Ursula Trudeau, the first Mad Hatter, wears her feathered hat to the ball in 2011.

— Creative Healing Connections will be holding the third annual Mad Hatter’s Ball to raise money for its women’s retreats.

“Come whether you are wearing a hat or not. It is a fun event for everyone,” said Martha Pritchard Spear, executive director for Creative Healing Connections.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 21 at Heaven Hill Farm, Bear Cub Road, in Lake Placid from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The Ball will feature live jazz music by Too Human, food and an array of items up for grabs at a silent auction. The silent auction will include a guided hike and packed lunch in the William C. Whitney Wilderness, a massage on a pontoon boat in Saranac Lake, a piece by local artist Kim Fortune, and lots of wine.

Though it is not a requirement to don a hat, Spear said the hats have become more fun over the years. Prizes will be given to hatters in a variety of categories. Most are made up as the committee members see what hats people wear that night.

“If someone shows up in a lobster hat, we might make up a category for them,” Spear said.

The fundraiser will help establish scholarships for women to attend the CHC retreats in the summer.

“Our scholarships can provide the meals, workshops, storytelling, canoe rides, journaling exercises, access to yoga and Reki classes,” she said. “We try to provide a catalyst for creativity to inspire women.”

The mission of Creative Healing Connections is “to provide creative experiences to promote healing and growth.”

The CHC began in 1999, when a group of Adirondack citizens joined together for the first annual Adirondack Arts and Healing Retreat for women with cancer and chronic illness. This retreat originally operated as a program hosted by Great Camp Sagamore. Over the course of 10 years, the retreat expanded and staff grew. In 2008, the organization became incorporated as Creative Healing Connections, Inc.

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