Rollin’ On The River


The creation of Smale Riverfront Park is arguably one of the most important projects our region has undertaken in the past decade. The John G. & Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park has transformed Cincinnati’s riverfront into a powerful gateway. Beyond its picturesque beauty, Smale Riverfront Park helps fuel economic development, community health and engagement, commerce and tourism for the entire region. As the city’s front yard, Smale Riverfront Park has become an outstanding outdoor setting enjoyed by an estimated 1.1 million visitors annually.

For the past two decades, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Cincinnati Parks, has built broad-based private/public “parknerships” to help raise over $100MM to fund the expansion, revitalization and preservation of our city’s parks. One of the oldest park systems in the nation, established in 1817, the 150 parkways and greenspaces in each of the 52 City of Cincinnati neighborhoods encompass approximately 10% of Cincinnati’s total land area. These outdoor oases provide pleasurable experiences in the fresh air, encourage healthy lifestyle activities and foster community engagement.

In an effort to help ensure Cincinnati Parks endure for future generations to enjoy, The Women’s Committee of Smale Riverfront Park created the Hats Off Luncheon. Now in its 12th year, this festive and unique luncheon for both men and women serves to raise important funds and awareness of our world class park system.

This year’s Hats Off Luncheon returns to the John G. and Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park on Thursday, May 17. The luncheon is being planned and executed with the collaboration of over 130 community volunteers – your friends, neighbors, and peers. Leading the 11 working committees are 2018 Co-Chairs, mother-daughter duo Marty and Jamie Humes. Jamie has helped spearhead CPF’s Emerging Leaders Group and Marty is one of the founding members of The Women’s Committee and served as a Cincinnati Parks Foundation Board member from 2008-2015. Marty is taking on this event leadership role for the third time and continues to be energized by the level of involvement and commitment from so many volunteers.

The Hats Off Luncheon team of volunteers has been working spiritedly to promote the #3 Urban Park System in the nation as ranked by USA Today. “We have an incredible team of over 130 volunteers helping to bring the 12th annual Hats Off Luncheon to life. These are some amazing women! It’s highly collaborative and truly is civic engagement at its best,” Marty gushes. 

The Humes share a mutual passion for our neighborhood parks. “I’m a big believer in the power of the parks. They continue to play a strong role in our city’s urban transformation. Furthermore, our parks have elevated Cincinnati’s national profile as a vibrant and emerging city that is a great place to live – as well as visit. That’s powerful,” says Jamie.

At the 2018 Hats Off Luncheon, men and women will don vibrant spring-time hats and sip champagne as they welcome warm weather back to the Queen City. Marty and Jamie have chosen a nautical, Rollin' on the River theme for the 12th annual event.

The Hats Off Luncheon begins at 11:00 a.m. on May 17 with a champagne reception on the Castellini Esplanade and in the Gardner Family Grove and Rose Garden, with a gourmet meal to follow on the Great Lawn at Smale Riverfront Park. The luncheon is a great spring tradition and open to all who wish to celebrate and sustain vibrant community parks across our city.