Provided by Red-Hat Society member, Jeanne Parsons

In 1997, Sue Ellen Cooper of California was visiting a friend in Tuscon, AZ and purchased a serendipitous Red Hat (for a mere $7.50)  just for the little girl feeling inside of her.  She in turn had a friend that was turning 55 and decided to give her a Red Hat along with the Jenny Joseph poem “Warning”  (when I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a Red Hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me) etc. etc.  The next year she gave another friend turning 50, a Red Hat embellished with artificial cherries and a veil and soon it became expected from her friends that when they turned 50+ they would receive a Red Hat.  Through several months of get togethers with all of her friends wearing purple clothes and Red Hats, The Red Hat Society was formed*.

At a Red Hat Luncheon in Dayton last week it was announced that the hat that Sue Ellen purchased at a thrift shop for $7.50 in 1997 will now have a home in The Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian is working on proper lighting and preservation techniques to keep the ORIGINAL Red Hat in good condition for years to come.

The Tipp City chapter of the Red Hat Society makes their presence known across town usually during the noon lunch hour and often can be found adorned with the crimson hats on Sunday’s. The close-knit sorority members receive benefits and discounts as a part of their membership in addition to the networking and friendships they have come to find within the organization.

* from Sue Ellen Cooper’s book “The Red Hat Society-Fun and Friendship After Fifty.”