If you love Halloween like I do and so many others in Irvington, then you will understand why I might join a group of people, who dress up like witches and parade around the neighborhood. I first saw The Black Hat Society parade in last year’s Halloween Festival. As I was shooting photos for this publication, I realized I knew several of the witches from the neighborhood. They sure looked like they were having a lot of fun and I was dressed as a leopard at the time. A good friend and neighbor Renee Cotterman encouraged me and my husband to join. We went to the first meeting last March at Jockamos. I thought I’d see what this was all about. After meeting and hearing the leader of this group Karin Mullins talk, I realized even though I didn’t think I had time in my busy schedule, I would make time. They were all about giving back to the community and raising money for charity in the most fun way possible — dressing up in costume and making new friends.
This is the most diverse group of women (and a few men) from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. I think I may be the one of the oldest, but it’s so much fun.
Karin had the idea to raise some money for a few local charities by doing a Witch Calendar to sell at the Halloween Festival. When she talked to the Business Association in Irvington about the idea of getting business sponsors for each month and shooting the photos in their businesses, they were all for it. When she talked to the witches, they looked very skeptical about a different costume for every month and 12 different themes. I was only there for 4 of the photo shoots. The schedule was intense. Nancy Lynch was the creative director for the photo shoots. This was quite an undertaking for a group who had never done such a thing before.
I was in one photo shoot where we had 3 live rabbits and 4 young children for an Easter Egg hunt in Artisan Realtors’ front yard. I kept my grip on a squirmy 15-month-old and the shot was somehow done without a hitch.
The cover of this calendar was shot in the spooky Ice House where the Masquerade Ball will be held October 21st (get your tickets before it’s sold out —Irvingtonhalloween.com) with nearly 40 witches and warlocks. The back cover is a sunset shot on the railroad tracks next to the Ice House – amazing photography. It was a hot day and the costumes are very, very warm.
Professional photographer Mike Sullivan donated his time and talent to this project and part of the money’s raised will go toward Juvenile Diabetes Camp which both his children have attended.
This special Black Hat Society Calendar will be on sale at a Reveal Party, Friday, October 13th at the Irving Theatre, 5505 E. Washington St. from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be a Live Band, Witches Brew, and Frightful Fun for everyone. Admission is a can of dog or cat food or a pair of new men’s socks. The calendars are $20 each and all proceeds go to these charities: The Pourhouse, Helping Paws, Inc and Juvenile Diabetes Camp. Cash or charge cards will be accepted.
The calendars are in limited quantity so be sure to get yours now before the Halloween Festival. There will be a Black Hat Society Booth at the Halloween Festival selling the calendars too.
The Black Hat Society will be the highlight of the Halloween Festival Parade this year with a witchy dance routine they have been practicing for weeks.
Karin Mullins, President of The Black Hat Society has just announced during this full moon, that Michelle Roberts (who owns the Ice House) will take the position of Vice President of the group and help with the many charity events this coming year. She will be such an asset, with all her creative ideas and community spirit.
Don’t forget Friday the 13th is the Party!
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