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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Clay County Red Hats celebrate founding date

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"A great time was had by all," is shown by the smiles on the faces of Judy Fatch, Sonnie Sherman, Mary McCullough and Barbara Claypool at the recent 10th Birthday Bash when 71 members of local Red Hat Society chapters got together for a joint celebration.
Members of several Clay County chapters recently celebrated the founding date of the International Red Hat Society. On April 25, 71 local gals dressed in purple and red commemorated the organization's 10th anniversary by dining at Mario's Restaurant in Brazil. Besides dinner, Jean Alsip and Sonnie Sherman gave presentations of interest to the crowd. During the jovial evening many door prizes were given away. JoAnn Stearley won the top prize, a gift certificate from Mario's.

Those present at the gala affair represented the following chapters: Best of Thymes Red Hatters, Queen Pat Krider; Brazilian Red Hat Divas, Queen Blanche Law; Clay Belles Red Hatters, Queen Wilma Nicosin; Forever Friends Red Hatters, Queen Carolyn Robinson; Red HatBabes, Queen Rosalie Bess; Ready To Go Gals, Queen Donna Northrop; Chapeau de la Rouge, Queen Gloria Ruhe.

The RHS organization was formed on April 25, 1998 in Fullerton, Calif. when six women went out to luncheon wearing red hats and purple clothes. The low-key idea for fun, fellowship, and whimsy began with the book, "Warning," written by Jenny Joseph. In her composition, Joseph used the poem authored by Elizabeth Lucas, "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me . . . ." Sue Ellen Cooper, who got the idea and is the society's Exalted Queen Mother, read the book, purchased a red hat at an antique store, and began gifting some friends with the same. These buddies began to have certain dates set aside for their little organization. As word spread, the idea of "experiencing-the-mom-ent" after age 50 soon became a national treasure. Within a short time, the organization boasted several hundred chapters within the United States. The number of woman forming chapters escalated until there are now thousands and thousands of chapters with hundreds of thousand members worldwide.

"Dressing-up and going out to play," is an international past-time these days. Life after 50 is nothing to dread, and the Red Hat Society has made it possible to experience the day-to-day joy without appearing ridiculous. Like Queen Sue Ellen says, "Let's expend our energy on the day we have to live right now. Adopt the 'glass is half full' (not half empty) attitude -- and drink it dry!"

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