Hats! Hats! Hats! And More Hats!

All in Honor of Mamie Walton




By Megan McKinney

Nearly 360 members of The Service Club of Chicago and their guests filled the ballroom of the Saddle & Cycle Club for the 127-year-old organization’s Annual Spring Luncheon, virtually all wearing glorious hats and gathered to honor popular member Mamie Walton.

The room of ladies, sprinkled with a few gentlemen, was welcomed by Service Club President Simona Garcia, who later posed with the beautiful Mamie.

Joining them in the sunshine were Luncheon Co-chairmen Lynda Silverman, left, and Sherrill Bodine, with Mamie.

After Mamie’s induction into “The Service Club of Chicago Chapeaux Hall of Fame,” she entertained guests with a song of thanks, accompanied on the piano by maestro Stanley Paul—a frequent Classic Chicago contributor—and Katarina Visnevska on the electric violin.

Mamie, who appeared for many years on the stage in West End and Broadway musical productions, was very much at home with her professional accompanists.     


Stanley, a favorite Chicago orchestra leader and man about town, appears above with Service Club member Larisa Kronfeld. 


In the spotlight throughout the afternoon was another valued Classic Chicago contributor, Rosemary Fanti, whose illustration of Mamie decorated the luncheon invitation reproduced above. A major attraction of the Spring Luncheon is the opportunity for an attendee to be the subject of one of Rosemary’s distinctive images. A selection of these are shown below.


Tracey DiBuono was depicted by Rosemary, above, and by John Reilly Photography, below, where she is with Elizabeth Bertucci.


Rosemary’s version of Rebecca Besser is followed by the camera’s view of Rebecca, below, with Gale Gottlieb, left, and Michaela Parrillo.


Shaun Rajah won the Hat Award for Men.


The John Reilly of John Reilly Photography was another properly hatted male representative. To the left is his wife, former Service Club President Myra Reilly and, right, Laura Brinckerhoff.


Carolina Bu, Diane Freeman and Immediate Service Club Past President Kathy Cook


Lynn McMahan and Dede Lubeznik.


Marit Bohbot, Gabrielle Weisberg and Lauren Chesley. 


Another token male was Richard Weinberg, with his wife, Diane


Hatless Lana Cooper and Einat Ezra defied the afternoon’s trend.


Others among Rosemary’s subjects included Service Club member Heather Johnson and her mother, Jane Johnson.


And, finally, from Rosemary is Jolie Kilierman.


Now, for the Hat Award winners…

Sheree Schimmer Valukas, left, scored for her amazing feather creation. With her is Donna Scharff.


Award winner Mary Lasky in a gorgeous design by Arturo Rios.

And the grand finale…

Possibly Chicago’s best dressed woman, Linda Heister, above, has just collected her Hat Award from Co-chair Sherrill Bodine. If you guessed, the fabulous confection on Linda’s head was whipped up by her husband, the great designer of flawlessly beautiful women’s fashion Mark Heister, you would be correct.


Photo Credit:

John Reilly Photography

Author Photo:

Robert F. Carl