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The Westfield Woman's Club to honor Westfield resident Cynthia Neary at this year's Garden Tea.

As printed in the Westfield Newspaper on May 9, 2024

WESTFIELD — Colorful hats in all shapes and sizes are again part of the planning for the Westfield Woman’s Club major fundraiser, the Garden Tea, now in its 26th year.

The event, to take place 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, in the Beveridge Pavilion at Stanley Park, is open to the public and tickets are on sale until June 15. Tickets are priced at $30 per person and proceeds raised from the fundraiser benefit the upkeep of the clubhouse at 28 Court St., as well as scholarships given to local high school students each spring.

“You can reserve a table of eight if you’d like to come with a group of your friends,” said Melissa Hall, who is chairing the event for the first time. She added, “I am thrilled to be working with my newfound friends in the club and so many longtime supporters in the community.”

She announced that this year’s honoree is Cynthia Neary.

Neary, who serves on the board of CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars, is well known not just for her welcoming spirit and love of Westfield, but for her work with the nonprofit scholarship organization.

“Westfield has been my home throughout my adult life,” Neary said. “Although Westfield is officially classified as a city, our community’s pride, closeness, and support embrace you like a warm hug. Receiving this esteemed recognition from the Westfield Woman’s Club fills my heart with pride and takes my breath away. This honor truly belongs to all 16 members of our CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars Board of Directors. We are all ordinary citizens of our beloved Westfield community, but together, we are doing something extraordinary for our Westfield students.”

Hall added: “This Garden Tea is a lot of great things at once, but for me, the highlight is showing our honoree, Cynthia, that her work matters and will continue to impact lives for years to come.”

One of the popular features of the annual tea is the hat parade. A panel of “esteemed women” will choose winners in several categories ‚Hall said, including “best vintage,” “most creative,” “most colorful,” “most Massachusetts,” “most outrageous” and “best children’s.”

The affair will be catered by Peppermill Catering at 18 Broad St., Westfield, and will include tea sandwiches (egg, cucumber and chicken), an iced and hot tea table, coffee, and lemonade. Additionally, handmade scones with strawberry preserves topped with whipped cream will be made by club members, and the dessert will be another Garden Tea tradition — a Parade of Trifles.

And, of course, a gathering of this sort wouldn’t be complete without raffle baskets to bid on.

“We have at least 30 raffle baskets chock full of wonderful items, so bring your cash!” said Hall.

Tickets will be for sale at the event, with winners announced during the tea.

Woman’s Club members will greet guests throughout the event and share details about how area residents can become involved with the various departments — Garden Club and Westfield Theatre Group — and interest groups including the Book Club, Bridge Club, and Creative Cooks.

Hall added, “We welcome everyone from in and outside of the Westfield community — to join us for this fun afternoon full of neighbors, delicious food, celebration, and of course — hats.”

Tickets can be purchased online at or by mailing a check with the attendee’s name, phone and email to WWC, P.O. Box 651, Westfield, MA 01086. Anyone interested in sponsoring the event can find more information on the website or by emailing emailing

Donations to CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars are welcomed all year round. They can be sent to CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 382, Westfield, MA 01086.

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