MADCAPS was established on May 24, 1960, when a group of 27 mothers got together to discuss an invitation to form a San Diego Chapter of the National Charity League, which sponsors Ticktockers. They decided against it and voted to form a new organization complete with a new name. Among the names discussed were Madreninas, Madrigals, Merry Teeners, Mu Delta Phi and MADCAPS.
On September 17, 1960, MADCAPS made its debut at a tea for 50 charter members and their 46 daughters, who shared a common goal to volunteer for and support philanthropic organizations. In the spring of 1961, MADCAPS attracted the attention of another national group, the Assistance League. After much discussion, the senior membership voted to continue to cultivate their own unique mother-daughter organization.
The first fashion show, titled “Springtime for Teens,” was held in March 1961 at the Stardust Hotel. That year, $529 was raised and presented to the Child Guidance Clinic. From 1961 through 1973, girls and sometimes moms modeled outfits from Don Heller’s store in Ocean Beach. The annual fashion show included skits and a dessert luncheon. The shows also had a theme, including “Madcappers Tea Party” and “Our Fair Ladies.” Today's benefit shows are no longer fashion shows, but the tradition of a theme still continues.
In 1986, due to the popularity of our benefit show and growing audience, the show moved to Correia Middle School, where it became primarily a dance show. In 2015, the show found a new home at Point Loma Nazarene University's Brown Chapel, where the shows are still performed today. The first MADCAP show raised $569, and in recent years we have given over $100,000 annually to the nonprofits we serve.
For years, each class chose a philanthropy they wanted to support. This changed in 1985, when members decided to modify the program to allow girls, during their six years with MADCAPS, to serve a variety of groups to learn more about our community. Our current focus areas are: community (7th grade); children (8th grade); individuals with disabilities (9th grade); rehabilitation (10th grade); the elderly (11th grade); and the environment (12th grade). Since 1960, MADCAPS has raised more than $1 million and performed hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours for various philanthropies in the San Diego community.
Click on the MADCAPS Mission and Strategy for further information on our organization!
MADCAPS History last updated in 2023