Arroyo Grande Coast News Community News

‘Hats for Hope’ Assists Cancer Patients

Arroyo Grande-based “Hats for Hope,” which raises money to assist people battling cancer, recently hosted four, “Gifting Program,” award recipients and their families for brunch, awarding them each $2,500.

Hats for Hope President, Diane Martino, said, “We are able to give this money because of the overwhelming generosity of our community; cancer is expensive, and we are happy to lighten the financial burden and lift the spirits of these four families, we want them to know we care, as long as people care there is hope.”

All funds raised by Hats for Hope are given to Central Coast cancer patients going through treatment to assist them with the financial burden cancer brings. Cancer patients are nominated by friends or family, nurses or doctors, to receive one of eight cash gifts given annually. 

In 2018, four cash awards were given in January and four more on July 22, at the luncheon held at Spyglass Inn in Shell Beach. The four gift recipients were: Christy Bagby, Juan Mendoza, Sandra Montoya and Serinna Arguijo.

Hats for Hope began in 2001 working with Central Coast oncology offices to provide patients, who will lose their hair due to chemo therapy treatments, a certificate for a free wig or hat redeemable at local wig shops.

That program continues today, and all cancer patients from Santa Ynez to Paso Robles receive a wig certificate. They do not have to ask or apply for it; it is a gift from Hats for Hope and the organization has now given away over 25,000 wigs and countless hats. 

Hats for Hope’s “Gifting Program” started in October 2015, and has so far given away $80,000.

The three criteria to be considered for a cash gift are: the person must reside on the Central Coast (between Paso Robles and Santa Ynez); nominees must be currently undergoing cancer treatment; and they must demonstrate a financial need as expressed in a letter to the board.

If you would like to support Hats for Hope or attend the next fund-raising event see: 

A benefit concert for Hats for Hope at the Cottonwood Winery and featuring the Tepusquet Tornados, is set for 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. Tickets are available online at, at Cottonwood Winery or from a Hats for Hope board member. For more information, see Hats for Hope’s Facebook page. 

In the photo from left are: Hats for Hope Board Member Julie Epps, gift recipient Christy Bagby, and Hats President, Diane Martino. Submitted photo

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