HATS: Gets better every year

by marlys good

HATS V was another unqualified success and between the ticket sales (including pre-sale, tables and at the door), live and silent auction, raffle and the fun “heads and tails” contest $63,905 was raised. The entire amount will benefit people in need of a “hand across the saddle.”

This year’s breakdown includes: ticket sales, $20,000; raffle, $3,100; live auction $38,100; silent auction, $1,930; heads or tails, $775 (won by Kim Coyne).

From its inception in 2009 to HATS IV in 2012, 350 families and individuals from Thermopolis to Powell and all the communities in between were assisted to the tune of $350,000. This does not include assistance provided in 2013.

All aid, amount and to whom, is strictly and completely confidential. No names are released. Beverly Brimley, co-founder of HATS along with husband Wilford Brimley, noted that “several people on different occasions have come forward and become part of the silent auctions, saying they want to give back because they have been helped.” She said they also have had people who say they can’t afford to purchase a ticket, but “I have $10; can I put that in?”

On the same note, Brimley said as they were taking tickets Saturday evening they had “more than one person donate a ticket, telling us to give it to someone who came up who needed one, and so we gave them to random people at the door.”

Brimley emphasized that everything connected to the annual HATS benefits “is by volunteer and donation, whether you see it or not, everything is volunteer. Every dime earned goes directly to aid those in need. HATS is people giving from their hearts – giving their money, their talent, their advice and their help. There is no end for where it comes from. Everybody has something to give, and boy, do they; it is amazing to me. It just gets better and better. People are good.”

This year’s HATS was especially enjoyable thanks to the Town of Greybull and the newly air-conditioned Herb Asp Community Center. “It made for a perfectly wonderful evening,” Brimley said.

The capacity crowd enjoyed the delicious dinner catered by chefs supreme Chris Dalin and Robb Howe and served by a professional crew of black and white clad Lady Buff basketball players under the watchful eyes of Coach Jeff Hunt and his wife, Carrie.

Code Blue from Utah opened the festivities and was well received by the crowd. Baxter Black, in his second appearance at HATS, delighted the diners with his monologues and poetry.

Zieb Stettler of Thermopolis, who has volunteered his time and sound equipment at the HATS saddle bronc/barrel racing events, got his first opportunity to join the fundraiser and his equipment and expertise made a huge difference Saturday.

The featured guest himself had suggested the new stage location and table arrangements, which were also appreciated by the ticket-holders. “Baxter was happy as he could be to be back, and was so complimentary” of the community and the fundraiser, Brimley said.