Heights milliner delights hospice patients with hat presentation

Cleveland  Heights milliner Cynthia Marek Lundeen talks about the romance and history of hats at David Simpson Hospice House. 

There are hats and then there are hats.

Hats make a statement, and the statement that milliner Cynthia Marek Lundeen’s hats made at a recent event at the David Simpson Hospice House was fabulous.

Lundeen not only gave a presentation on the romance and history of hats, she brought a collection of her elegant couture designs. Two of the hats, a pink and black, and a white and black feathered one, graced covers of special Kentucky Derby issues of the magazine I Am Today’s Woman. The slide presentation included an image of a creation that won first prize at the Kentucky Derby Hat Contest.  

As she led staff, volunteers, patients and family members through a slide show of hats in history—including tidbits from the 1700s and 1800s—a parade of participants modeled her creations. Two lucky volunteers got to wear the hats featured on the magazine covers.

The idea for the presentation came about when hospice staff admired the hats decorating the room of one of Lundeen’s family members at hospice house, said volunteer service manager Lori Scotese. The David Simpson Hospice House, which is a facility of the Hospice of the Western Reserve, is located at E. 185th St.

“We are so grateful to Cynthia for offering this wonderful program,” Scotese said. “It was great fun to model many of Cynthia’s stylish creations and to learn more about the history of hats. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

“It was an honor to do something in return for the remarkable care hospice provides,” Lundeen said.

Lundeen, who lives in Cleveland Heights, said her interest was not born of fashion, but arose from her lifelong interest in history. She grew up fascinated by hats in a time when they began to fade from style. She wants to share the joy of fine millinery with others.

While her hats may be called art, they are also architectural wonders of wiring and structure which support these large and lightweight creations.

The hat designer makes hats for special occasions, such as weddings, and for gentlemen, too. She’s authored a book, The Victorian and Edwardian Ladies' Guide to Business and Millinery Style Book with Observations for the 21st Century.

For more information on Lundeen’s creations, visit www.cynthiascenturies.com.

Founded in 1978, Hospice of the Western Reserve has grown to be a nonprofit agency offering one of the largest community hospice programs in the country. Its services go beyond typical hospice care to serve the most vulnerable, including children with life-threatening illnesses, grief support and crisis response for local schools, and specialized end-of-life care for the most complex cases. For information call 800-707-8922 or visit www.hospicewr.org.

Laurie Henrichsen

Laurie Henrichsen is public-media relations manager at Hospice of the Western Reserve.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 1:08 PM, 03.30.2015