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Senior Center Incorporates Chapter of Red Hat Society

Red hats and purple dresses were the outfit of choice last Monday at the Hollin Hall Senior Center, as they hosted their second meeting of the Red Hat Society.

A queen mum and owner of the Pink Bicycle Tea Room in Occoquan, Donna Lane, was the guest speaker. She explained how most of the groups worked, what kind of dues they paid and the suggested size of group. The group at the senior center is pretty large (about 50), but they want to try to stay together.

Lane said that this made it a little harder to find places to accommodate that size, but she said that it was still doable. For example, when groups come to her tea room in Occoquan, she does two sittings; one goes to do shopping while the other has tea and then they switch. Lane also had an array of pink and purple accessories for sale at the meeting.

Julie Ellis, director of the center, said that The Red Hat Society began as just a fun social event for a few friends. There is also a poem called "WARNING" by Jenny Joseph, that talks about wearing a red hat and purple dress. The group of friends went out one day and wore red hats and purple outfits and that is basically how it got started and spread around the country.

Ellis said, "Now, you have to be 50 years of age or older and dress in "full regalia" when you go out as a group. Going out could be: bowling, to tea, to the theater, anything, there are no rules. I can be a member but I can't wear a red hat (not 50 yet) but I can wear a pink hat and a lavender outfit."

Ellis helped moderate the meeting and said that the first thing they needed to do was to select a name. They decided on "The Sassy Red Hatters of Hollin Hall." They have also elected a Queen Mum: Karen Murtha; Vice Mum: Beverly Medlin; Hysterian: Renata Lynch; Anti-Parliamentarian: Dorothy Murphy; and Your Gloveliness: Mickey Hoffner.

Meetings will be held one Friday a month, at 1 p.m. Cost for membership is $5. For more information, call the Hollin Hall Senior Center at 703-765-4573 or visit www.redhatsoceity.com.