Mad Hatter Tea Party Raises Funds for Pottawatomie County Library Programs

Apr 11, 2023 | Press Release

Contact: Will Merrick, Development Officer
[email protected], 405-801-4521


SHAWNEE, Apr. 11, 2023 – The Pioneer Library System Foundation hosted the inaugural Enter Into Our Wonderland: A Mad Hatter Tea Party on Thursday, March 30, at the Lakeside Wedding Venue in Shawnee. The event raised over $8,000 for library programming and services in Pottawatomie County.

The Foundation’s mission is to support literacy and a love of learning throughout Pioneer Library System communities. For many people, their local library is the only place they can access books, the Internet, and other valuable resources. For others, it is a community gathering space to learn and grow.

Proceeds from the Mad Hatter Tea Party will enhance educational initiatives at the Shawnee, McLoud, and Tecumseh Public Libraries, such as early childhood literacy, the annual Summer Learning Challenge, and a variety of lifelong learning opportunities for adults.

“Pioneer libraries are an essential part of our community,” said Amanda Johnson, event chair and Foundation board member. “It was wonderful to see so many people and organizations come together to support the transformational services they provide.”

In keeping with the literary theme of Alice In Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, portrayed by Jamelle Payne, entertained guests throughout the evening. Attendees enjoyed dinner and signature drinks, live entertainment, a raffle, and participated in a contest for the “Maddest Hat.”

“The event exceeded our expectations in many ways,” said Pioneer Library System Development Officer Will Merrick. “Amanda’s vision and leadership brought Wonderland to life. We are grateful to all of the dedicated volunteers and sponsors whose generosity will have a big impact on literacy and learning in the community.”

Event sponsors included First United Bank, Avedis Foundation, Lakeside Wedding Venue, BancFirst, Ma Beasley’s Daylight Donuts, Sue Winterringer, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, BAM Acquisitions, Stuart & Clover, and Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative.

The Foundation is already working on plans to make next year’s event even more exciting. Visit or call (405) 801-4521 to learn more.


About the Pioneer Library System Foundation

Founded in 2010, the Pioneer Library System Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose mission is supporting literacy and a love of learning throughout Pioneer Library System communities. Our donors support programs and community education initiatives above and beyond what is possible through public funding. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated nearly $2 million in grants and private contributions for library programming and initiatives. Visit or call 405.801.4521 for further information.