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Gold Diggers celebrate 25 years of philanthropy with Hats Off to San Diego luncheon in La Jolla

Sharon Henry wearing $500 Money Hat, G.O.L.D. Digger of the Year honoree Brenda Ferich, Jackie Bailey, Gerri Teyssier
Vincent Andrunas / Vincent Andrunas

The G.O.L.D. Diggers presented their annual Hats Off to San Diego luncheon, April 13, at the Estancia Hotel & Spa in La Jolla . Co-chaired by Jackie Bailey and Brenda Ferich, this year’s 25th anniversary event saw a total of $25,000 ($5000 each) awarded to five San Diego nonprofits — B.A.B.E.S. (Beating Alzheimers By Embracing Science), A Bridge For Kids, The Challenge Center, The Glenner Center and San Diego MOM.

The G.O.L.D. Diggers was founded 25 years ago by Betty Mabee and the “Golden Nuggets,” a core group of dedicated women. With their contributions in the early years, many small San Diego charities grew to become major nonprofit organizations serving the community — including Monarch School, Just InTime For Foster Youth, and ARTS: A Reason To Survive, to name a few.

The highlight of the luncheon is always the Betty Mabee Hat Parade, when 10-15 nonprofit agencies model hats designed with a theme that reflects their organizations. For their efforts, each is awarded a minimum of $500 with winners earning up to $2,500.

For details about the G.O.L.D. Diggers, visit

Rosemarie Bergdahl, Linda Phillips, Charlotte Perry and Keith Webb, as the Mad Hatter
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Denise Nunez, Kimberly McIntyre, Carol Ann Scharbarth, Ursula Mix and Susan Fancher
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Charlotte Rand, Jane Austin, Marge Herrman, Sonia Wilson
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Ann Fomon and Gary Joe Ulloa, Cristull Hasson, Phyllis Parrish
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Leslie Carter with Merle Lotherington
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The hat entry from the La Jolla Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
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Light One Little Candle’s hat design entry
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North Coast Repertory Theatre’s entry won the 18-Karat Gold Award ($2,500) and the Golden Shovel Award for Best Theme Hat ($750)
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San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s design entry
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Social Services League of La Jolla’s entry won the 49er Award ($1,500)
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All entries on stage for the finale!
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