Red Hat Society comes to Sterling Presbyterian Manor

Delma Small, Marie Mantooth and Clara Mae Richards make lovely Red Hatters.

Rural Rice County resident Liz Higgins recalls a day in 2004 when seeing a woman in a dress changed the course of her life.

“I was working at a bank and looked out the window. It was a very windy day, and I saw a woman in a red hat and purple dress. She was struggling to hold onto her hat and keep her dress down, but she was having so much fun! I said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ So, I did!”

Liz found out more about the Red Hat Society, which started in California in 1998. She decided to form her own chapter and made it a private one so she could keep better tabs on its size.

“I just wanted to enjoy this new season in my life. Our chapter name is Hattitude Gratitude, and we have a lot of fun!” said Liz.

Liz’s chapter, based out of Lyons, is part of a worldwide network of women who’ve decided that 50+ is the new fabulous.

Top left, Delma Small, Darlene Miller and Marie Mantooth; bottom right, Karen Gillespie

Top left, Delma Small, Darlene Miller and Marie Mantooth; bottom right, Karen Gillespie

“The Red Hat Society is all about embracing being of a certain age and living life to its fullest. We wear our red hats, purple dresses or scarves, and travel, go to dinner, concerts, and Red Hat events all around the state and country,” said Liz. “Most people may recognize us, but they probably don’t realize that women under 50 can join, too. We call them the Pink Hatters, and they wear lavender instead of the deeper purple. My own daughter is a Pink Hatter, and we’re getting ready to celebrate her ‘reduation’ to a Red Hatter when she turns 50!”

With as much fun as she and her chapter members were having, Liz decided that the ladies at Sterling Presbyterian Manor may enjoy participating as well.

“We weren’t looking at starting an official chapter, though any ladies are welcome to join,” said Liz. “Rather, we’re seeing this more as an outreach, to bring the Red Hat Society to the Presbyterian Manor. We’d like to host fun events, bring the red hats and purple scarves, and help them feel like part of something bigger, to enhance their activities.”

That’s exactly what Liz did recently when she and Activities Director Donna Grizzle hosted an Ice Cream Social Soda Shoppe. The event was so well received that Donna and Marketing Director Cindy Moore have decided to join, as well as several residents, too!

“I’m a ‘pinkie’ because I am under 50. I wear pink hats and lavender attire. We’ve decided to start our own chapter by the end of the summer, and our name will be ‘The Manor Hatters.’ We currently have eight resident members and two friends of the manor, so with Cindy and me, that makes 12 total, and we aren’t even official yet!” said Donna.

Contact Donna Grizzle for more information about the Manor Hatters at 620-278-3651 ext. 3134 or [email protected]