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!"