MADCAPS ‘World Tour’ a Big Success

| March 31, 2024 | 0 Comments

By Karen Austin

MADCAPS Mother of Katie (2020) and Caroline (2024)  

Teen girls living in Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Ocean Beach and Point Loma recently participated in the annual MADCAPS Benefit Show to raise money for local philanthropies. The musical extravaganza is the signature fundraising event of Mothers and Daughters Club Assisting Philanthropies (MADCAPS).

In addition to raising money for the programs and services of their partner philanthropies, the teens and their mothers also provide thousands of hours of direct service to the organizations each year. In 2023, members contributed 8,350 service hours to Father Joe’s Villages, Rady Children’s Hospital, The San Diego River Park Foundation, San Diego Humane Society, City of San Diego Therapeutic Recreation Services, Autism Tree Project Foundation, Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, UCSD Bannister Family House, Habitat for Humanity and a dozen more. Forty-five junior members earned the national, President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The theme of the 64th annual show was “Take Flight on MADCAPS Airlines.” Two sold-out performances took place on the main campus of Point Loma Nazarene University on March 8 and 9, transporting audience members on a ‘World Tour’ while college students were on Spring Break. 

With San Diego International Airport nearby, it was a fitting nod to local aviation and harkened back to a time when air travel was a special experience with smartly uniformed flight crews and top-notch service. Performers wore costumes reminiscent of their global destinations and one number even featured graduating senior girls in Pan Am costumes of a bygone era.

The stage set, designed by Ken McCrobie (father of a 2023 MADCAPS graduate), included a MADCAPS Airlines gate and authentic vintage suitcases. Linda Welby, a seasoned on-air radio personality and Point Loma resident, was the gate agent emcee. Jillon Augustine and Heather Nelson, both with daughters in the Class of 2024, very capably served as the Benefit Show Co-Chairs. Numerous program advertisers, donors and sponsors were instrumental to the success of the fundraising event.

Mothers and their teen daughters are active with the organization from 7th to 12th grade. This year, each grade level “traveled” to a different destination, showcasing some of the music, dance, fashion and culture of each. 

The graduating Class of 2024, which includes six girls living in Mission Hills and Hillcrest, performed two professionally choreographed routines as they touched down in Rio de Janeiro. Tammy Smith, who danced professionally and now works as a dance teacher and choreographer, used Samba and Carnival to influence the dances performed by all 37 twelfth graders for a high-energy finale to their years in MADCAPS.

Young men who are high school seniors growing up in the organization’s neighborhood catchments, called MADChaps, also performed as a group and in a highly anticipated number with the senior girls. It’s a tradition which is a fun conclusion to the girls’ six years of service, as they all prepare to graduate from high school and take flight to the next stage of their lives.

Emerson Hardy is one of the girls in the Class of 2024 and lives with her family in Mission Hills. As she finishes her final year in MADCAPS, Emerson had this to share, “I love animals, so I especially liked working with kids and animals as a camp counselor and shelter volunteer at the San Diego Humane Society. I’m really grateful for the amazing experiences I had engaging with my community and for the unforgettable memories and friends I made along the way.” Emerson will graduate from Francis Parker High School in June and will attend Brandeis University in the Fall. She plans to complete a degree in Biology and pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine.

Her mother, Samantha Hardy, who is currently serving on the MADCAPS Board of Directors, also reflected on their six-year experience together, saying, “I grew up in San Diego volunteering at some of these same charities, which I look back on as being such a valuable experience. I loved being able to share that with Emerson and with other local moms and daughters. The show is always a massive undertaking and great success, and a testament to what people can accomplish when they come together to lift up their communities. This year was particularly special because I escorted Emerson on the stage for a final acknowledgement of her six years of service.”

There are currently 219 mothers and 229 teen members from 13 to 18 years of age, with 43 more girls about to start their first summer of service as members of the incoming Class of 2030. In addition to Rio, the other ‘World Tour’ destinations were New York (11th graders), London (10th), Paris (9th), Honolulu (8th), Mumbai (7th) and back to Los Angeles with the MADChaps.

Founded in 1960 by a group of 27 local mothers, MADCAPS is committed to fostering a sense of civic responsibility and compassion for others among its members by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to serve our San Diego communities.

For more information about MADCAPS go to

The theme this year was “Take Flight on MADCAPS Airlines,” a world-class show which celebrated the contributions of 229 junior members and highlighted some of the many programs where they volunteer. (Photo credit: Karen Austin)


Category: Dance, Donations, Education, Entertainment, Events, Historical, Life Style, Local News, Students

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