GILFORD — Last year, Judi Rogato set a goal to create 25 hats to sell for $25 each to raise money for Patrick’s Pub Mania and her team, The Diving Ducks, to benefit the 2018 Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction. Rogato got carried away, though. She made and sold 169 hats, raising $4,225.
“It was a great conversation starter,” Rogato said, noting that in addition to raising dollars the children’s auction, she also raised awareness. “People would ask ‘What are you making?’ It gave me so much pride to tell them what I was doing, and a lot of people learned about Pub Mania and the children’s auction through me.”
“The amount of heart and soul in this community is unbelievable,” said children’s auction coordinator Jennifer Kelley. “The children’s auction and Pub Mania have brought out so many people like Judi who have huge hearts and worked so hard for this cause. It’s great for people to think of their own unique ways to contribute, and they inspire others to do the same.”
Rogato had participated in Pub Mania on The Diving Ducks team with other members from the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club for four years, but hadn’t done much fundraising, making a donation herself instead. She wanted the fifth year to be more remarkable.
“I wanted to do more,” she said. “I wanted to give more. It’s such a good cause.”
Rogato began brainstorming. Her daughter Jenna suggested she use her knitting talent to make and sell hats. “I said, ‘I bet I could make 25 hats and sell them. I’ll donate my time and the yarn,’” Rogato recalled.
She started selling the hats through word-of-mouth. “All of a sudden, I started getting orders and had to make up order forms,” she said. “One person ordered 11 for Christmas gifts.”
As the orders came in, Rogato got nervous about whether or not she could keep up. She began knitting in every free moment, no matter where she was.
Rogato sewed tags into each hat that read, “Handknit by Judi. Pub Mania/Diving Ducks.” She worked with nearly 60 different colors of yarn, making two styles of hat, a cabled hat that takes over five hours to knit, and a lightweight hat that takes less time. The hats come in three sizes and can be custom-ordered, with optional pom poms.
“I am so proud of what I was able to do, and I am so thankful that so many people supported the effort and bought hats,” Rogato said, noting that when she tallied the total amount she’d raised, she was a bit shocked.
Members of the yacht club were also impressed. They presented Rogato with the first-ever Diving Ducks team award, a plaque with a pair of knitting needles on it.
Even with 2018’s Pub Mania behind her, Rogato hasn’t slowed down. “I haven’t stopped knitting,” she said. “I can’t stop. I’ve already started working toward next year’s goal.”
For more information about Patrick’s and Pub Mania, call 603-293-0841 or visit www.patrickspub.com.