Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big Easy Bash Was A Hit!

The 2011 International Convention was held in New Orleans, something that we’d dreamed of doing for years! The Red Hat Society had originally planned to hold the 2006 International Convention in New Orleans, but when Hurricane Katrina hit, we sadly moved the event. To finally be in the city was a huge thrill!

Hatters began flocking to the city on August 18, filling the Big Easy with red and purple (and pink and lavender!) There were so many wonderful tours to choose from, it was hard to pick which ones to attend! Our first event with everyone present was the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 19. It was so exciting to see that sea of red, purple, pink, and lavender! While all of our conventions are special, this one felt particularly meaningful! One of the highlights of the event was the crowning of Queen Linda of the Red Hat Jambalaya Mamas (Louisiana, United States) as the Hatter of the Year and Queen of Mardi Gras!

August 20 dawned with a special event: our trademark Pajama Breakfast! It’s like the world’s biggest sleepover; there’s nothing like seeing 2000 Hatters enjoying breakfast in their pajamas!

This year’s Hat District was better than ever! Not only did attendees get to shop from some of the best vendors around, but they also participated in fashion parades, displayed their home-made Mardi Gras masks for a contest, enjoyed wine tastings, and experienced the best in on-site entertainment!

As evening neared, Hatters gathered for the glitziest party of the event: the Big Easy Bash Banquet! We enjoyed a delicious three course dinner, followed by fabulous entertainment, New Orleans style! RHS Founder, Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper, along with Esteemed Vice Mother Linda Murphy and Lady Bug Debra Granich, CEO, brought us up to date on the State of the Sisterhood. Of course, the evening concluded with hours of dancing with friends old and new! What a party to remember!

For more photos and stories from New Orleans, check out our Facebook Fan Page!

What are the advantages of starting a chapter instead of simply remaining a Member?

Being the Queen of a chapter comes with special Queens-onlyperks, such as the Queen Handbook, gold Queen card and monthly Queen-to-Queens Broadcast which Founder Sue Ellen Cooper sends directly to Queens every month! You’ll get tips on managing your chapter (hint: don’t do it all alone! Delegate!), access to exclusive parts of the RHS website, and you’ll be the first to hear of important RHS news! And of course, you’ll be able to proudly wear the title of “Queen!” What are you waiting for, your majesty? Become a Queen today!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Biking Beauties
Queen Marie of the Crimson Brims (Saskatchewan, Canada) writes, “Twenty-nine Red Hatters from Saskatchewan took part in the parade by riding the ‘Big Bike’ for heart health and stroke awareness. They raised $4,600 for the Heart and Stroke Association in pledges. The young men who steered the bike wore red hats and purple shirts as well. There was a huge red heart appliqué on the back of the shirt which said ‘Keep it pumping.’ After the parade the Red Hatters enjoyed lunch at a downtown hotel.” Way to go, ladies!

The Red Hat Society never requires any Hatter to donate to or raise funds for any charity; however, Hatters are free to participate if they like! 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 and mention that they are a part of the Red Hat Society, rather than identifying themselves in the name of the Society as a whole.

Ready, Set, Action!
We’re always eager to find new ways of sharing our Hattitude with the world! To help with this, we’ve created a new page on the Red Hat Society website devoted to our online videos! You can not only view all of our videos (and check back often, we post new videos frequently!), but you can share them with friends via Facebook and Twitter, and email them with the click of a button!
Golden Age of Glamour
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
June 28-July 1, 2012
It’s time to pack up your hatboxes, book your flights and join us! Las Vegas has been called the Entertainment Capital of the World, and has been the backdrop for many films and television shows. Celebrities have been flocking there as their desert resort “getaway” for decades, which is why it is the perfect setting for our 2012 International Convention!
Read about the convention here! Register here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Fair Affair

The Sugar Plum Girls (Tennessee, United States) were asked to create a booth at their county fair to promote this year’s fair theme: "Hat's off to Wilson County!" 

Chapterette Mary writes, “I believe our girls went above and beyond what they were called to do as you can see below.  We are in a competition for best booth and are honorary marshals in this year’s parade.”

What a lovely display!

Lucky to be in London!
Who knew we would get invited to London again and in such an auspicious year? 2012 will be significant in so many ways: it’s the beginning of London’s Cultural Olympiad, the first official event of London’s Olympic Year, and the first celebration in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration! The upcoming New Year’sDay Parade (an internationally famous event, broadcast on TV around the world!) is sure to be spectacular! There’s nothing quite like seeing a flock of Hatters dressed to the nines parading through the streets of London as their adoring fans cheer them on! You’ll want to be part of this experience, and remember, this is the one event where you can invite your friends and family to be part of the fun! What are you waiting for? Sign up to join us in London!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Cool Celebration

The Bodacious Belles (Texas, United States) invited other local Red Hat chapters  to celebrate National Ice Cream Month (July) with them at a  local ice cream shop!  Queen Pat says, “Everyone was encouraged to decorate their hat in the ice cream theme. A Red Hat Parade was held in the shop and the diners, young and old, voted on which hat was the most creative.

The winner had real ice cream cones on her hat and the ice cream scoops piled on was made with a ball of yarn in different colors to represent the flavors of ice cream. The diners had as much fun with the event as the Red Hatters did!” What a cool way to party during a hot season!

FREE Collectible Pins from the Red Hat Society Store!

This year, the Red Hat Society store is giving out a free pin with every single order! A new pin is on offer every month, and each has been designed exclusively for the Red Hat Society Store! Use them to decorate a hat or a tote bag, wear them on your lapel to give any outfit a touch of Hattitude, or give them away as gifts!

You don’t have to be a Supporting Member of the Red Hat Society to place an order from the Store, but all Members receive a 10%discount on every order! What a deal!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Pampering Party!

The Crimson Chapeaux (New York, United States) found a unique way to play! Queen Louise writes, “One of our members had a great idea. We had planned for ten but six of us were able to make a day of Foot Massage.

We LOVED it!! We were sorry we didn't take the one hour massage. We plan to go back.”

What a fun way to spend time together!

The Story Behind the Red Hat Society Legacy

In only thirteen years, the Red Hat Society has gone from being a simple idea in the mind of Founder Sue Ellen Cooper to being a worldwide Sisterhood, boasting over 70,000 Members, and chapters in 30 countries! We have seen women inspired, friendships form, and lives change, all while realizing that “play” is more than fun: it’s essential!

We believe that we have a responsibility to preserve thisLegacy for generations of women to come: we want our daughters to know the same sense of friendship and sisterhood that we have experienced!

You can read the full story of the Red Hat Society Legacy here. Let’s keep this ball rolling! 

Operation Red Envelope

We invite you to join us in our latest quest!

The Red Hat Society has officially made a request to the United States Postal Service to create a postage stamp in the Society's honor. This stamp would be in recognition of our unique place in history and for the Legacy which we are building for future women of all ages. We have asked for our stamp to be ready in time to celebrate the Red Hat Society's 15th birthday in 2013. The process is a long, arduous one and the outcome is not assured.

We need your help. Here's what we are going to do to encourage the postal powers-that-be that we are indeed serious about this request.

We request that every Hatter send a note to the Postal Service tucked into a bright red envelope. Include a short note stating:

  • Why being recognized with a Red Hat Society stamp is important to you?
  • How you would use the stamps? To collect, give as gifts or use on your letters and invitations.
  • Suggest that the appropriate postal service contact Emily Yost, RHS Marketing Director at emily@redhatsociety.com
  • On the front of the bright red envelope, please include the subject of the message: RHS Stamp Request

Here's a sample note:

Dear Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee:
The Red Hat Society has proposed for your consideration, the development of a stamp to recognize our one of its kind women's group and its unique place in popular culture. As a Member of the RHS, I would be proud to collect, give as gifts or use Red Hat Society stamps on my correspondence.

Please contact Emily Yost, RHS Marketing Director regarding this matter at emily@redhatsociety.com.
Thank you for your assistance.
(Your name and chapter name)

Mail to:

Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

The bright red envelope is the visual key to the success of this operation. For the best impression, drop your note (Only one, please!) in the mail anytime from now through the end of October 2011. Then, our jobs will be to sit back, be patient and think good stamp thoughts!

Thank you all for your support and spirit!

International Sisters-don’t dismay, we are researching opportunities within your area! If you have ideas, email Emily@redhatsociety.com!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Discovering A Sisterhood

Marlene, Queen of the Razzle Dazzle Hatters (Pennsylvania, United States), sent us the most beautiful letter! We’ll let her share her story:

“I have been a member of RHS since April 2000: I started out as a Co-Queen, and then, after 3 years went out on my own as Queen. Since the age of 14 years old, I have always suffered from illnesses that either required surgery, physical therapy, or some sort of treatment in order to put me back on the road to recovery. Even as a young girl, I always had a positive attitude and just knew I would get better each time an illness knocked on my door. Even then, my friends were always there for me. But as life changed for me and I moved on to college and then married life, my friends also changed. Some I lost and new ones I gained.

Since I am a quilter, I am always looking for new and interesting fabrics, I seemed to bump into Red Hat fabrics while on a vacation during the summer of 2000. This fabric interested me so much that I looked up the Red Hat Society on the internet to get the scoop and the rest is history.

I am a people person and a music teacher by trade, I love to be surrounded by 'like-minded' people, especially women. At the time I started the chapter, I was only 47 so I dressed as a Pink Hatter, but was treated to a wonderful ‘Surprise' Reduation on my 50th birthday. I so wanted to be a Red Hatter from day one. Since I am a three time cancer survivor and a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient, I use Red Hatting as an escape to forget about my health issues and go out and laugh for a few hours. Two 'rules' in my chapter are as follows: you must wear a Red Hat, and bring a smile.

My Red Hatters have been by my bedside to serve me breakfast, lunch & dinner after a recent ankle surgery. They also provided rides to doctors appointments, filled grocery store lists and any other help that was needed. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer just recently, several Queens and Vice-Queens surprised me one night with a 'Purple Alert'. It was perfect timing as I had just received the news that day that I would have to undergo a bilateral mastectomy on July 22nd. The Red Hatters sang their way into my house, brought flowers, and dinner for all, including my husband of 31 years. We talked, we cried, and we networked. What a night!

My Red Hatters have been by my side when we lost our house and two dogs to a devastating fire in Sept. of 2008. Since I lost all of my Red hat regalia, they invited me to a Queens Council Tea at a local restaurant and surprised me with a table full of red hat attire, gift cards, pictures from previous events, and all the trimmings to go with it. That's what friends are for.

Not only have my own Red Hatters been there for me, but when I travel, I look up Red Hatters to meet in the towns that I will be visiting. I have made friends 'round the globe' and we keep in touch via phone or e-mail. I am on so many prayer lists that I know God will get the message to 'make me well'. I have told everyone that I cannot die until I am finished my Red Hatting. That won't be for a long time!

Now that I will be going into the hospital for surgery in a couple of weeks, the 'girls' have decided to take shifts again to help me while my husband is at work with rides, food, and whatever else I will need. They all hug me whenever we are together and I feel that warmth of their love and caring coming through from their body to mine.

To add to my kudos, I am now the proudest Queen with perfect attendance as a chapter with all supporting members. How's that for a great chapter?”

This is truly what the Sisterhood is all about!

The New REDuation Kit!
A REDuation is a Pink Hatter’s “rite of passage” which may include a creative ceremony or just a simple swapping of a pink hat for a red one. (We definitely encourage elaborate ceremonies whenever possible, especially when Hatters celebrate the big 5-0!) Esteemed Vice Mother Linda Murphy actually wrote a REDuation poem that is often used in such ceremonies!

To help our Members celebrate their big day, we’ve created a darling REDuation Kit to help make every Pink Hatter's special day even better! It includes a REDuation Pledge, complete with a space to hand write the new Red Hatter's name in the center, printable “wisdom notes” which may be used to give her all that wonderful advice that you've always wished someone had given to you when you came of age, and invitations to make sure that lots of Hatters turn up to help celebrate!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Advice From Our Mothers

One of our Hatters’ favorite places to play is on our online social forum, the Queen and Member Board (aka, the QMB). They create nicknames for themselves, swap stories, share tips, play games, and just have fun! One of the recent posts asked a simple question: “Do you have a saying that your momma taught you that has stayed with you?”

Here are some of our favorite responses!

Lady Lightheart: "Never tell your best friend your deepest secrets because she might turn out to be your enemy and never talk bad about your enemy because she might turn out to be your best friend."

SenioRita: "Pretty is as pretty does."

EvilTwin: "Never pass up the chance to use the bathroom.”

Lady Scarletta:People who iron are looking for something to do.”

Queen MotorMouth: “One of my mother's favorite sayings was, ‘She who tooteth not her own horn, the same shall not be tooted.’ It took YEARS for me to figure out what she was telling me--it's OK to ‘toot your own horn,’ because if you don't, nobody else will!”

Words of wisdom indeed!

The QMB is exclusive to Red Hat Society Supporting Members and Queens: sign up today, and you can start playing immediately!

“What is an RHS Ambassador? Who can become an Ambassador?”

The Red Hat Society has developed a program to recognize Members who excel at what all our Members do naturally—champion the RHS and support other Members! Ambassadors create public awareness of the RHS through outreach to potential new Members, clearly explain our membership program to Members and the public, promote our philosophy of sisterhood (fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment and fitness), and build and strengthen relationships between Hatquarters and Members. Whew!

Any Queen or Supporting Member can become an Ambassador! We’re looking for Hatters who understand the importance of the Red Hat Society to women of all ages and would love to share with new women how it has affected them. And in turn, our Ambassadors are assisting the Society's Legacy by helping grow our Society into the foremost women's play group in the world. We are reshaping the way women are viewed in today's culture and need we say, having the chance for some very interesting times!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Adventure!

Eileen, Queen of the Red Hattitude Gals (Pennsylvania, United States) and Margalit (Queen of the Spunky Old Broads, Pennsylvania, United States) had an adventure!

Eileen writes, “We went to the NBC studios yesterday to be a part of the audience and had a BLAST joining some other local hatters...we even got gifties!” What a fun idea for an outing!

“Queen Councils – What are they for?”

Queens Council gatherings are benevolent groups made up of active Red Hat Society ChapterQueens, Co-Queens, Vice Queens or those thinking about becoming a Queen. They meet at-will or on a regular basis to make new friends, share ideas, to provide mentoring, plan and coordinate events, give feedback to Hatquarters and to network.  The position of leadership in these groups may be held by one Queen or by several Queens in rotation. Registered Queens with Supporting Members of the Red Hat Society are welcome to attend; these events are usually listed on the Member-exclusive Online EventCalendar.

Members of a Queens Council are not employees of the RHS or RHS policy makers.  Joining a Queens Council is perfect for the new Queen. It’s also a great tool for the long time Queen to help her bring fresh ideas back to her chapter. And Queen Councils are just one more Red Hat way to make new friends!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pretty in Pink!

Cindi, of the Myakka River Red Hatters of Gulf Cove (Florida, United States), wrote a charming email to Red Hat Society Hatquarters! “My granddaughter Cassie is 8 years old. This week for the third year in a row she joined our chapter, the Myakka River Red Hatters of Gulf Cove, for lunch. She starts asking me as soon as she realizes school is nearly out to take her to another luncheon. She LOVES the dressing up part and is a perfect little lady bestowing her pink hat Princess Blessing on each and every lady with the blingy scepter Queen Mother Sue gave her last year.” What a lovely young Pink Hatter!

The Red Hat Society is targeted to women 50 and beyond; however, women of all ages are more than welcome to become Members of the Society. After all, each Member supports the organization and it is a true honor to have young women value what we have created in our Sisterhood. The Society’s only age stipulation is in regards to RHS sponsored events. Members who are 21 years of age and older are invited to attend. 

RHS chapters may be made up of all Red Hatters, all Pink Hatters or a combination of both, which we think is the most fun! There are Red Hat and Pink Hat Queens of chapters. Chapters determine whether children and teenagers be permitted to attend their gatherings and events. Again—that is something Hatquarters leaves to you and your chapter’s discretion.  

It’s Your Chance to Join in the Fun!

You are invited to our Hat District shopping and entertainment celebration, “Barefoot on the Bayou,” where you can mingle with the Red Hat Society in the Hat District for a mere $5 per day!

We’re celebrating real New Orleans culture with live entertainment and fabulous shopping in the Hat District! Throughout the entire 3 day convention, you can step into the excitement for a mere $5 admission to the Hat District which will host an array of vendors selling everything from bling to the latest fascinators and hats, while being entertained with a unique line up including wine samplings by EJ Gallo’s Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, daily fashion shows, praline cooking demonstrations by Aunt Sally’s and hat making lessons! This deal is open to the public, so it’s a perfect chance to experience the fun and friendship of the Red Hat Society!

For more information on the Big Easy Bash or the Hat District Expo, visit http://www.redhatsociety.com/events/conventions/NewOrleans2011/index.html  or contact Emily Yost, Marketing Director at Emily@redhatsociety.com