red hat logoBy Laura Nolen

“I have done things as a Red Hatter that I would have never dreamt of doing,” said Christine Towers, Founding Queen Mother of the Red Hat Society’s Tampa Bay Area Queen’s Council during its recent interview regarding the first Red Hat Mall Bash in Brandon.

In 1998, in Fullerton, California, the Red Hat Society was born. Sue Ellen Cooper, founder, presented her friend, Linda Murphy, with a birthday gift of a red hat. Since that time, the Red Hat Society has blossomed into one of the largest women’s social organizations.  Currently over 57,000 members are registered with chapters located in all 50 states and over 30 countries.

The Red Hat Society is an organization for women who are committed to joyful living, exploring new interests, having fun, and creating new friendships.  Hatters celebrate life to the fullest and support each other through the bond of sisterhood.

Though the organization’s original focus was on women 50 or older, they also welcome members of all ages who wish to join in the fun. The “Red Hatters” don red hats and purple attire at all official society events, and members under age 50 are “Pink Hatters” and don lavender attire.

In 2010, the bright red fedora, the hat that initiated the founding of the Red Hat Society, and a purple-feather boa was donated and is on display at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, February 18, Christine Towers and Chris McNees, Vice Queen, hosted the Red Hat Day Mall Bash at Westfield Brandon.  The attendance was outstanding with 110 area hatters enjoying a day of shopping, mingling and dining.

The Bash was a huge success with a special guest appearance by the Chick-fil-A cow, dressed in a red hat and purple-feather boa.  “I’d like to express our sincerest appreciation to all of the merchants that were instrumental in making the Red Hat Mall Bash successful and fun for all hatters,” stated Ms. Towers.

For more information on the Red Hat Society, visit its Website at If interested in joining a local Red Hat Chapter, contact Christine Towers at primetime


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