The Red Hat Society: Red Hats Abound atCreative Habitat at Ben FranklinBurlington, VT — July 19, 2004 Directly in the front door, and to the right, Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin has created a product vignette dedicated solely to the ladies of The Red Hat Society. Founded by a group of women in California, The Red Hat Society celebrates the coming of age for women 50 and over, by wearing fancy red hats and bright purple outfits.Creative Habitat has “caught the Red Hatitude fever,” agreed Mark and Michael Dowling, co-owners. “From straw red hats to purple boa wraps, weve a great selection of fun essential products for the ladies of The Red Hat Society,” Mark noted.Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society, decided to celebrate a friend’s birthday by giving her a poem by British author, Jenny Joseph, entitled Warning. The poem begins, When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesnt suit me.” The poem continues with all the wonderful freeing activities she will partake when she grows old.Local members of The Red Hat Society can create their own look. Creative Habitat has a complete section of Red Hat Society products, including scrap booking essentials, accessories for hats, decorations, wrapping paper, jazzy purple t-shirts, and, of course, the boas,” Mark continued.Today, there are 25,000 chapters in 21 countries, with an estimated 600,000 members. For more information about The Red Hat Society and local chapters in Chittenden County, please check out the Society’s web site at www.redhatsociety.com(link is external).Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin, formerly Ben Franklin, has been owned and operated by Mark and Michael Dowling since 1991. Creative Habitat is an independent store in the Burlington community, continuing in the family tradition of quality home design, crafts, and framing. Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin is located on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, telephone 802-862-0646. You may also visit them on the web at: www.creativehabitatvt.com(link is external).
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Wisconsin assistant captain Jamie McBain leads all WCHA defensemen in points and is a finalist for college hockey\’s top prize, the Hobey Baker Award.[/media-credit]With six national championships, three WCHA regular season titles and 11 WCHA tournament championships, it is an obvious understatement to claim the Wisconsin men’s hockey team has an impressive history.Despite all those accolades, however, the storied program has never seen a Hobey Baker Award winner.With junior defenseman Jamie McBain leading all WCHA blue liners in points this season, that surprising anomaly might change soon.“People know [McBain’s] offensive ability, but they don’t see how good he is defensively,” sophomore defenseman Brendan Smith said. “He has always got the puck — you don’t really see it all the time, but when you see him in practice he is great. I think he is a Hobey Baker for sure.”Since 1981, the Hobey Baker Award has been given annually to college hockey’s top player, including WCHA players 12 times. With only five of the 28 winners manning the blue line, McBain finds history stacked against him a little bit.Not that the Badgers’ assistant captain is thinking about it.“It’s in the back of your mind,” McBain said of the Hobey Baker Award. “But obviously after the week I got nominated and after it was a big deal — since then I haven’t focused too much on it. Obviously you know and it’s there, but for the most part I just focus on each game each weekend.”Coming into the season, McBain — like most athletes — set some individual goals for the year. Although the award wasn’t his top goal, the Minnesota native admits it was somewhere on the list.“I felt I had a chance coming into the season,” McBain said. “Coming into the year my goal was about 40 points, and I am right in the range, right where I wanted to be. Hobey nominee is such a huge deal — 40 points was just kind of the marker I was shooting for.”Watching McBain play, it doesn’t take long to realize why the junior has been so successful. With superb vision on the ice, McBain has racked up 22 assists in 22 conference games — better than any other defenseman or forward.“We always joke as a team which guys have sick vision and sick hands,” junior captain Blake Geoffrion said. “[McBain] definitely has unbelievable hands, unbelievable vision, he’s got a great stick. He doesn’t get beat a lot, but every once in a blue moon someone will beat him and he will come back right back with his stick.”Head coach Mike Eaves — the leading scorer in Wisconsin history — might be even more complimentary of McBain.“He is one of those guys that has a combination of understanding the game,” Eaves said. “He can see the game, and see what needs to be done. From a skill standpoint he has the package to get those things done. A quarterback can see a receiver being open, but does he have the arm to get it there? Jamie has that arm to get it there and he sees it too.”This season, McBain has found a lot of his success on the power play. With McBain recording 20 points on the man advantage, UW ranks second in the WCHA, converting 21.9 percent of their chances.“I just have to do one thing — just shoot it,” Smith said. “He does everything. He has got great hands, and he can find everybody, so he makes everybody better, and that is why he has so many points.”Though McBain became a Hobey Baker finalist with his offense, the second round pick from the 2006 NHL draft isn’t a liability on the defensive end. If anything, his uncanny vision on the ice aids him in the defensive zone as well.“Probably his defense is his ability to read plays, have position and have a great stick,” Eaves said. “His stick is as good as anybody’s taking away passing lanes, shooting lanes and those type of things.”Right now, the biggest hindrance to his Hobey Baker candidacy is a -9 goal differential when McBain is on the ice. While McBain is deferential when asked about it, his teammates and coaches flare up at the mention of the statistic.“That stat in hockey is one of the worst I think,” Geoffrion said. “A guy like Bainer logs at least 29 to 32 minutes a game. In every situation he is playing against the other team’s top lines. … I think that stat is not necessarily accurate, I would say.”Though successful in his first two years as a Badger — recording 18 and 24 points, respectively — his team has seen improvement in a less tangible area: leadership. Donning the assistant captain badge since the beginning of the season, McBain was thrust into a more prominent leadership role when senior captain Ben Street went down.“We talk about what makes a good leader, what are the key factors?” Eaves said. “And in our estimation, it’s do you make people better around you? And that is what he has done in spades this year.”