Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group                                Shirley Sutterlin serves water to Evelyn and Sandy Bequette at the Mad Hatter’s Tea.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group Shirley Sutterlin serves water to Evelyn and Sandy Bequette at the Mad Hatter’s Tea.

Survivors, supporters rally for 20th year at Mad Hatter’s Tea

SEQUIM — Bright hats and hearts filled Sequim Community Church’s auditorium for the annual Mad Hatter’s Tea.

It was the 20th year for the event, which aims to promote community awareness of breast cancer while raising funds to support such local organizations as Operation Uplift and the Olympic Medical Center Foundation that work with patients and survivors.

The Oct. 6 luncheon raised nearly $10,000, with half going to Operation Uplift and half to the Olympic Medical Cancer Center.

Organizers say 203 people attended the luncheon along with one of the event’s co-founders, Patti Hudson, who spoke about its beginnings as a way to support her friend, Jan Chatfield.

Hudson said the event grew from a small potluck for 20 people to more than 100 and that attendees wore hats to support Chatfield while she received cancer treatment. Chatfield was able to attend only one tea before succumbing to cancer, but friends wanted to keep the tradition going.

“It was important to us to honor her,” Hudson said.

Another longtime attendee and breast cancer survivor, Shirley Sutterlin, was best friends with Chatfield, she said.

The event has “brought such a love for people with breast cancer,” Sutterlin told the group.

“It’s sad to say that there are new women with breast cancer each year, but we can give them love and support, too,” she said.

For more information on the tea, visit facebook.com/clallamcountymadhatters.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group                                Friends Judy Kelley and Shannon Archbold, both of Sunland, smile in their custom hats that Archbold made at the Mad Hatter’s Tea earlier this month.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group Friends Judy Kelley and Shannon Archbold, both of Sunland, smile in their custom hats that Archbold made at the Mad Hatter’s Tea earlier this month.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group                                A group of friends from the Bell Hill area gather for a photo at the 20th Mad Hatter’s Tea on Oct. 6.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group A group of friends from the Bell Hill area gather for a photo at the 20th Mad Hatter’s Tea on Oct. 6.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group                                Organizers of the Mad Hatter’s Tea hosted 203 people at Sequim Community Church for the event’s 20th year, which focuses on raising breast cancer awareness and supporting local efforts to combat cancer and support those afflicted with it.

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group Organizers of the Mad Hatter’s Tea hosted 203 people at Sequim Community Church for the event’s 20th year, which focuses on raising breast cancer awareness and supporting local efforts to combat cancer and support those afflicted with it.

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