Saturday, September 22, 2001

Fest hats are very chic(k)

Maker will donate to victims' fund

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati is one of the biggest markets for chicken-hat producer Robert Hearn of Arlington, Texas, and this year he's donating a portion of the sale proceeds to help victims of the terrorist attacks.

        The felt and feather chapeau will be available in traditional white as well as yellow to honor Tony Orlando, grand marshal of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2001, and his hit song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon.”

        The 25th Oktoberfest begins at 11 a.m. todayon Fifth Street, from Race to Broadway, downtown. It will include special observances to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as well as the usual beer, brats and potato salad.

        While Mr. Hearn sells the hats at other Oktoberfests around the country, they are most popular in Cincinnati, he said. Every year he brings more and always sells out.

        This year he brought 1,200 in white and 600 in yellow.

        Mr. Hearn said he will donate $1 to the Salvation Army for the relief effort in New York for each one sold. (They are $10.)

        He also will give 25 cents of every sale to the Wings Foundation Inc., an organization that benefits American Airlines flight attendants.

        Mr. Hearn, who is a part-time flight attendant for American, said the foundation intends to establish a scholarship in the name of each of the 13 flight attendants lost in the hijackings.

        Mr. Orlando, who arrived in town Friday, will sing at 4 p.m. today on Fountain Square. Mr. Orlando sang his song to POWs returning from Laos and Vietnam in 1973.


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