Put on your red hat, baby — it's time to step out

Local supporters of The Red Hat Society plan their annual luncheon Sept. 12.

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After a half-century of taking care of everyone else while being prim and proper, it’s time to take care of yourself. If you’re 50 or older, get dressed up, put on your red hat and go have some fun.

Fun, friendship, freedom and fulfillment are the principles that guide The Red Hat Society, according to the Website, www.redhatsociety.org. Those desires must resonate with many, since the Fullerton, Calif.,-based group has more than 30,000 chapters throughout the U.S. and in 25 other countries.

The society has even inspired a musical. "Hats!" is the story of a woman on the verge of turning 50. She faces the fears, meets new friends and finds joy in her journey.

Locally the group, the Red Hot Desserts, seriously focused on fun, is gearing up for the 12th annual Red Purple Luncheon on Sept. 12. "We have very few rules, except that we eat dessert first. Heavens, that’s the best part of life," said Jerry Taylor, chairwoman, although that term, "chairwoman," may actually be too tame for her energy and enthusiasm. Taylor serves as the Royal Granny, Queen of the Red Hot Desserts. Taylor remarks that another local group, known as the Hot Flashes, also has a "fantastic name."

According to Taylor, the Red Hat Society and local groups, whether affiliated with the international organization or not, are helping thousands find friendships, common interests and avenues for fun. You don’t have to be 50 to attend the luncheon and you don’t have to already be a member of a group. "It’s open to the public," Taylor said. "But if you’re under 50, you should wear a lavender or pink hat."

The Saturday event is a great opportunity to socialize and connect. "We support one another. Some don’t have spouses. It’s great just to get together. We’ll have a photographer, for group pictures or individual. There will be door prizes, entertainment, games. We get together, socialize and act a little silly," she said. There will also be poem read, and a skit done to a song by Patsy Cline.

The luncheon is a big draw for ladies from all over the area, Taylor said, adding that attendees come from Yakima, Wallowa, Clarkston, Lewiston and elsewhere.

And the popularity of the event is increasing. Last year, Taylor estimated, there were between 120 and 130 in attendance. This year she’s expecting between 200 and 300.

The annual Red Purple Luncheon is scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge 351.

Tickets are $20, available at Bright’s Candies Gifts and the Antique Mall of Walla Walla.

For more information about the luncheon, call 509-301-1157.

For information about the international organization visit www.redhatsociety.org.

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