It may be common this time of year to see witches’ hats being used as decoration, but the hats being displayed in Volunteer Services are nothing like you’ve ever seen before!
Recently, Beth Whitmire, Director of Volunteer Services, attended an event where employees from Universal Orlando spent a day volunteering to help local organizations. For Give Kids The World, Beth had them assemble Halloween goody bags for children at the Village. A few of the volunteers found the regular witches hats she brought and decided to decorate them. The hats turned out so well that when Beth returned to the Village, she suggested to her team that they each create their own hat and hold a contest to see which one the volunteers liked the best. Everyone loved the idea and immediately jumped on board planning their ideas, but being sure to keep everything under wraps until the big reveal day.
A week later, each member of the Volunteer Services staff brought their completed hats to the office, disguised in a bag so no one could catch a glimpse of what they had created. All the hats were unveiled at the same time to an array of laughter, gasps, and cheers. The competition was stiff and the contenders all displayed an amazing array of cleverness and artistry with their designs. Hat #3 adorned bright, colorful spots and a sparkling silver frill at its base in the fashion of a birthday celebration. A few went for chilling themes with booing ghosts and giant, climbing spiders while another took on the image of a giant hot dog with a ribbon claiming the title of “Chili Cook-off Winner!” One of the contenders was a tribute to the Enchanted Carousel, complete with plastic animals dangling from the bottom of the polka dot covered hat.
The hats were displayed in a glass case, and each was assigned a number so that voting would be based on the design instead of the person who created it. Volunteers cast votes for their favorite all week, and as the ballot box got fuller, the anticipation over who would win grew. Finally, last Friday the winner was revealed to be Navita Khemraj with her hat that paid tribute to The Wizard of Oz. Her creation hosted silhouettes of the Oz quartet on its brim as they skipped along a golden brick road towards a glimmering Emerald City at its pinnacle. Thank you to everyone who participated and brought some fantastic Halloween spirit to the Village!
With contributions from Alan Venable