Friday, April 29, 2011

Hatting Through the Generations!

The Red Hibiscus and Purple Petunia chapter celebrated the Red Hat Society’s 13th birthday by attending a special event!

A group of local Red Hat Society chapters hosted an “All Things Victorian” event: many of the attendees even wore Victorian-style clothing!  

This was the perfect event for the Hatters to introduce younger members of their families to the world of Hatting! Hatter Joan brought her mother Mary Lou and her daughter Nicki to the event: three generations of Hatters!

What makes the RHS important to women of all ages?”
The Red Hat Society is dedicated to improving the lives of women of all ages, and to ensuring that our Legacy is around for years to come! We believe that the Society is a gathering place for women of all ages, where we can come together as women to share our experiences, and have fun no matter what our age!
The pursuit of Fun, Friendship, Freedom, Fulfillment, and Fitness is something that no woman should have to wait for: whether you wear a pink hat (for those under the age of 50) or a red hat (for those 50 and beyond), the Society is the place for you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hatting It Up in Washington, DC!

A banner at the event
Yesterday was the 13th birthday of the Red Hat Society, and what a celebration it was! The very first red hat, a fedora purchased by Founder Sue Ellen Cooper, just went on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and 500 Hatters were on hand to celebrate the Legacy of the Red Hat Society!

Congressional recognition!
We started the day at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building where we were treated to a fabulous plated luncheon: it was also a chance to talk to fellow Hatters and meet new friends.

Esteemed Vice Mother Linda Murphy
From there, we paraded down the street to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History to see our symbol, the Red Hat, on display: what a powerful moment!

CEO "Lady Bug" Debra Granich
The day was full of incredible moments: we heard a talk from the great-grandson of one of the owners of the Hope Diamond, and took pictures with Exalted Queen Mother and Founder Sue Ellen Cooper, Esteemed Vice Mother Linda Murphy and CEO ‘Lady Bug' Debra Granich.

Joseph C.Gregory, great-grandson
of one of the original owners
of the Hope Diamond
When the main events were over, we headed over to our after-party at Madame Tussauds!

The head table
Whew! Talk about a fun-filled day!  To get a little taste of the historical experience, check out our latest video: the official send-off of the first red hat!

What is the mission of the RHS?
We are a global society of women that supports and encourages women in their pursuit of fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment, and fitness.
Fun – we celebrate life at every age
Friendship – we solidify and expand the bonds of sisterhood
Freedom – we discover and explore new interests
Fulfillment – we realize our personal potential
Fitness – we embrace healthy, life-lengthening lifestyles

The Red Hat Society has become the international society dedicated to reshaping the way women are viewed in today's culture.


As part of this mission, we are dedicated to being the ultimate resource for women. Our Members have access to special offers from many prominent companies, as well as travel deals, health tips, and more! We get hundreds of requests from potential partners every month, but we only accept those from businesses that we believe will enrich our Members’ experience.

Family Caregiving Myths
The Red Hat experience is all about fun, friends and fulfillment.  But part of enjoying life involves protecting our ability to remain independent.  It’s easy to ignore the uncertainties about the future, but those uncertainties can keep us from taking full advantage of what we hope to do.  So in the interest of knowing what the future could hold we’ve provided some important facts for you to consider.
1.       80% of us will need to provide direct financial contributions to family members needing care. 
2.      60% of us will experience a direct loss in income because of providing care to a family member.
3.      Over 60% of us will use at least some of their own savings to care for others. 
4.      Nearly 60% of all family care givers eventually withdraw money from their own retirement accounts to support those they are caring for. 
These issues affect Red Hat Society Members as women even more greatly, since the majority of all at home care givers (nearly 70%) are women.  Further, of all care givers, women are much more likely than men to handle the more physically and emotionally challenging aspects of care giving.
There are strategies to help members cope.  To learn more about strategies available to reduce the overall financial impact of care giving, click here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Important Birthday!

 Kathy Pena, Queen of The Red Hat Fan Club, has an important announcement! “One of our favorite Members, Trudy Eurs, is 94 years young! Trudy (AKA: Madame of Mischief) was radiant in her red blazer and jaunty purple birthday hat."

"We all enjoyed a home-cooked (by her son) Hungarian luncheon punctuated with a cupcake cake. There were Bingo games and a 50/50 raffle.  An avid reader, Trudy received 22 novels as gifts." 

 "It turned out to truly be her day to shine: not only did she win one of the cash prizes for Bingo, but she won the 50/50 drawing, too! Now she has the cash for more Kindle downloads!” Congratulations and happy birthday, Trudy! 

“What makes the RHS different from other women’s groups?”

There are lots of organizations out there, but they all focus on service, charity, or professional concerns. That’s all well and good, but we’ve got a different vision. We are the largest women’s social organization in the world devoted exclusively to fun! Many Hatters do charity work in other parts of their lives, and prefer to use their Hatting time for other pursuits. We women have spent so much of our time taking care of others, working in an office, or just living up to the expectations of others, sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to have fun. That’s what the Red Hat Society is all about!
Please note: If any individual chapter wishes to participate in charitable events in regalia as part of their chapter activities, we ask that they do so in their chapter name, rather than in the name of the Society as a whole. We want to make sure that no-one feels any pressure to participate in charitable events if they don't want to: after all, we're all about fun! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Traveling T-Shirt

Darlene McNeil, Queen of the Sippin' SenioRitas, recently posted this on the Queen Member Board (our web forums): “Empress Elke [Elke Lagace, of Ruby RedHat’s Ramblers] started a thread recently on the QMB entitled 'Pay it Forward', asking for members to send something to another sister as a way of paying it forward. Last year, I celebrated my 70th birthday wearing a red tee shirt that stated on the front, ‘This is what a Kool 70 year old looks like.’" 

"Since I only wore it twice, and it was taking space in my overly crowded closet, I decided to post a photo of it and see if anyone would like to have it.   Almost as soon as it posted I received an e-mail from Daisy Sue in Ohio telling me that she would like to have it as she was celebrating her 70th soon. I packed it up and off it went to Ohio.  Today I received an e-mail from her with a photo of her wearing the tee shirt.  She told me that she is forwarding it on to Jet in Tennessee to wear next year for her 70th.  It is so heartwarming for me to know that the shirt I purchased on a whim is being worn by my precious Red Hat sisters as they celebrate a milestone in their lives.”

“What do the women of the RHS do when they gather?”

The short answer is, whatever we want! Women have had so much on their plates for so long that they often forget how to "want" for themselves.The mere question "what is your heart's desire" or "what do you want to do" are now almost impossible to answer.  We thrive on fun and look forward to connecting with like-minded women. What could be seen as "selfish" at first is actually empowerment, reminding us to be ourselves and do what we enjoy! 

In general, we do whatever we find fun. This can vary from chapter to chapter. Some chapters prefer more restrained activities such as tea parties or antiquing. Other chapters do grape-stomping, road trips, and even skydiving and whitewater rafting! We also do things our husbands or significant others would never want to do: see a chick flick, try out a new French restaurant, or just an ice cream social at the local Dairy Queen! In the Red Hat Society, you are free to pursue fun, no matter what that looks like for you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time for Tea!

Glenda McCord, Queen of the Classy Bama Belles, writes, “I really enjoyed a tea party, which I attended in Huntsville last Saturday that was sponsored by the chapter The Fellowship of Friends Red Hatters."

"I got there a little early and since seating wasn't assigned I got my choice. I chose this table because I love the hat!”

All the Hatters who attended had a lovely time: what better way to spend a lovely spring day? 

“What’s up with the tea parties, boas, pirate costumes and bling?”

Hatters like all of these things (and more!) simply because they are fun. We encourage every Hatter to let her inner child come out to play, and one of the best ways to do that is by playing “dress-up”!

We don’t believe in paying much attention to what other people might consider “proper” (although we do strive to always act like ladies) while we’re out having our fun. Does this mean that every Hatter has to collect a whole wardrobe of costumes and fancy outfits? Of course not!

Again, it’s all about fun: if you genuinely don’t like dressing up, there are plenty of other ways to have fun. But every Hatter is encouraged to try more outrageous outings from time to time: after all, you never know when you may decide that it’s fun to be a pirate!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Regal Occasion

Hatters know how to host a grand occasion!
Outgoing Queen Ladybug Louise Oliver of the Red Hat Flappers had gifts for everyone and a special thank you to all those who have served with her these past 5-6 years.  She was given a standing ovation, as she has been an inspiration and encouragement to all.

Incoming Queen Mary Cease was presented a dozen long-stemmed roses from her daughter and granddaughter.  Chapterette Sunny draped the incoming Queen with a Royal Robe and Louise crowned her with the Chapters new Crown, and the transfer was complete! Queen Mary vowed that the Chapter would continue to be a Very Fun Chapter.  

“What do you mean by ‘magic in the hat’?”

Over the years, we’ve noticed the changes that happen in women’s lives when they join the Red Hat Society. On goes a hat, and out goes boredom, loneliness, and shyness! Lest anyone think that the Red Hat Society is merely frivolous fun with no lasting impact, Red Hat Society Members posted pictures of themselves on the Queen Member Board, our social web forums. These pictures came in pairs: each woman posted one picture of herself at the beginning of her Hatting journey along with recent pictures. Red Hat Society Founder Sue Ellen said, “Amazingly, in every instance, the woman in the ‘before’ photo looks attractive enough, but rather sedate – certainly a bit tentative in expression. But every single ‘after’ photo seems to show a new woman! With chin lowered, and eyes flirtatiously wide, twinkling with mischief and sass – each woman has been transformed far beyond what a mere upgrade of regalia could ever achieve. You would swear that each of them has had the benefit of professional make-up and anti-depressants! These women have become glamorous, self-confident and charismatic!” And THAT’S the magic in the hat!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Friend in Need
Lynda Herzog, Queen of Herzog's Hilarious Hellyuns of Haughton has a lovely story of sisterhood to share!

“My neighbor, Patricia Jan Bland (Queen of Song), lives in Texas, but keeps a home just 3 doors from mine, also. Two years ago I became extremely ill and very weak and the doctors couldn't seem to give a diagnosis. I was too weak to walk, cook, or take care of myself. This went on for months, and later learned I was an untreated diabetic and in a 'storm' derived from a thyroid disease called 'GRAVES.' Patricia Jan was in need of returning to her Texas home but wouldn't leave me alone. She sat hours on end with me, sometimes silently, but would even cry with me when the pain would make me cry. She drove me to my Doctor appointments, gave my meds, brought food to me and even helped me bathe. Had I not opened our Red Hat Chapter 7 years ago I would have never met this wonderful woman of admirable strength and friendship. Did I mention Jan is almost 81 yrs of age and has severe arthritis issues herself?! She became my 'Florence Nightingale' and remains my very close Red Hat Sister!"

“Why isn’t chapters’ contact information open to the public?”
Did you know that at the beginning of the Red Hat Society's twelve year history some of our chapter information was viewable by non-Members? We listed our Queens last names and their email addresses for everyone to see. This course of action seemed harmless, who would want to bother us? We're just a simple play group for women, after all, and the website was designed just for our use. Who would dare come to our playground uninvited?
Our approach sounded friendly but it wasn't private or safe for our Members. We take our Members’ security and peace of mind very seriously: they deserve our support! We were obliged to remove the last names of our Queens and the change to Members-only password-protected information was born.
This turned out to be an excellent change. All Red Hat Society Members can be assured that their information will not be shared or sold to third parties or viewed by non-Members. Emailed and mailed offers from RHS partners are vetted by our licensing manager to ensure that they are offers you would want to know about. Not everyone is capable of getting to you. You'd be surprised at the many companies who approach us that we decline based on our commitment to our Members!
Our Members are so valuable to the Legacy of the Red Hat Society, and their privacy is paramount. We want everyone to feel secure enough to play to their hearts’ content!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Night at the Oscars

Maria Mikesell, Queen of the Hussies With Hattitude, just loves a good party! “There are many red hat events I love attending but one of my favorite is the Purple Ball put on by Gail Rico and Kathy Rico Baichtal. This mother and daughter team never disappoints and this year was no exception. The theme this year was ‘A Night at the Oscars’ where one could come dressed like our favorite movie star or favorite character on TV or in a book.

It was delightful to see women in costumes dressed as Audrey Hepburn, Mae West, Cleopatra and Cruella de Ville just to name a few. Equally entertaining was the group who performed known as Kulayd. They were such a fun group who didn’t mind interacting with their audience and even dancing with us! 
Needless to say a fun time was had by all. A special academy award should go to this mother/daughter duo for their fine performance!” What a glamorous event!

“Why dress up in red and purple or pink and lavender?”

Our signature colors really make us stand out in a crowd, and we love that! In modern society, women often fade into the background and become effectively invisible. Not us! We love being who we are, and we’re not afraid to stand out a little bit! In addition, these unique colors help us identify our Red Hat Society sisters: women in red hats and purple outfits recognize each other all over the world! Once, when a Hatter from the States visited Italy, she took a gondola ride in her regalia, and met an Italian Hatter going the other way on another boat! The two ladies waved and called to each other, and though they couldn’t stop to chat, they both knew they’d made a friend!

There’s something incredibly freeing about playing “dress-up.” Putting on a special dress or hat can sometimes give us the courage to dare, to dream big, to have adventures! Wearing our signature colors is a way of letting out our inner child, and saying “It’s time to play!” And remember, though we do ask that all Hatters wear the appropriate colors, how you wear them is up to you! Will you go for a classic style, modern, bohemian, or casual? Maybe you want to be extra daring and try a little Victorian style, pirate couture, or vintage fashion!