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History of the Red Hat Society

The Red Hat Society is a group of women who greet middle age with humor, amusement, and energy. They enjoy acting silly and childlike while wearing red hats and purple outfits. The women of the Red Hat Society have a fantastic time growing old together by adding comedy and friendship to their life experiences. Tea parties, birthday celebrations, Halloween events, cruises, and parades are just a few of the events you'll find Red Hatters attending.

It all started when Sue Ellen Cooper, the founder and Exalted Queen Mother of the Red Hat Society, saw a marvelous vintage red hat at a thrift store and purchased it since it was cheap and dazzling. She later read a poem about wearing purple with a red hat.

Sue Ellen decided to give her dear friend a swanky vintage red hat and a copy of the poem for her birthday. The gift was such a hit that Sue Ellen decided to give the same gift to each of her friends for their birthday. Once all of her friends had their own unique red hats, they decided to add in the purple outfits and have themselves a lovely tea party. The first tea party was held on April 25, 1998, and was such fun that their next tea party included 18 red hat wearing women. Sue Ellen realized that 18 people didn't fit very well around a tea party table, so she encouraged women to start their own Red Hat Chapters. The first "sibling" group was born in Florida and now there are over 40,000 Red Hat Society Chapters worldwide.

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Two Red Hatters Decked Out in Red
Two Red Hat Ladies Dressed to the Nines
Four Red Hatters Enjoying the Beach
Red Hatters Living it Up at a Pajama Party
Two Red Hat Ladies Dressed to the Nines
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