Red Hat Society

Rita Young Allen, MA, MS

Rita Young Allen
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                         Hello, Beautiful Lady!!!

Do I have some news for you!!

I have the answer to all your

"less than perfect" days!

(Not that we have any, of course,

but just in case!)

The Red Hat Society!!

This very classy, innovative unorganization

will cater to the working woman…..

of all ages!

We welcome you...

Under 50, pink hatters


As well as you over 50


  We meet for no other reason than fun!  We will probably be involved in some very exciting adventures, new places, new people and quite the fill of kicking up our heels (red or purple, of course!)  We will venture out from time to time to enjoy the sights and marvelous wonders of the world!



There is no cost for this absolutely wonderful life event…and it will certainly add color to all your days!  If you are 50 and above, the required attire is red hat and purple dress.  If you are under 50, the required attire is pink hat and lavender dress.  The appropriate colors will be your admission into each glorious outing….or inning, whichever we choose for the day!



Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!

Rita Y. Allen

The following comments are taken from the
Official Red Hat Handbook.
Official Instrument:  The Kazoo.  Why?
1.  It is an equal-opportunity instrument.
            Anyone can hum and play one!
2.  It is eminently portable.
3.  It is affordable.
4.  Group concerts are easily arranged.

Mary B. Young

Welcome, to the official Red Hat Society, where there is fun after 50 (and before!) for women of all walks of life!  We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and, since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together.  Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.  As you already know, the Red Hat Society has NO RULES.  There is much of life left to live, and you will find lots of like-minded "sisters" within our "disorganization" to join you as you set out to do just that!

Click on this logo and it will take you directly to Red Hat Headquarters!

Brim-Brushing....Red Hatters enjoy gestures of affection when bidding each other hello or goodbye, but hugs tend to knock hats to the ground.  Therefore, when in our regalia, we often content ourselves with mutual shoulder touching and gentle brushing of hat brims.  Full hugs are best given by those who are hatless!


The Queenly wave, which comprises the official RHS greeting, is performed by cupping the hand, fingers together, and ever-so-gently swiveling the wrist back and forth in the direction of the adoring throngs (or other Red Hatters).  Oh, so ladylike and refined, don't you agree?


One beautiful pink hatter!

Doin' what we do best....just hanging out!


Red Hat Society members do not have meetings.  The very word gives us chills!  We do hold get-togethers, events and host gatherings.  But "meetings?"  Never!

Each member is encouraged to display creativity and play dress-up to her heart's content! (We are, however, careful never to show too much skin.  We are ladies, after all.)


Birthday Suits (no, not that kind!)....A Red Hatter gains special attention by wearing the Red Hat colors in a unique way during her birthday month.  She wears a red outfit with a purple hat.  We call this tradition, "Au Contraire" (French for "to the contrary").  Why do we do this?  Because we feel like it and because we can.  We are always on the lookout for ways to make life fun!


Full name:
Email address:


Rita Young Allen, M.A.


The Red Hat Society
Women Over 50 Happily "Acting Their Age"

by Jennifer Geronaitis

Sue Ellen Cooper of Fullerton California, affectionately known as the "Queen Mother" is a retired mural artist who never realized that just "acting her age" and allowing others to do the same could cause such a stir. The Red Hat Society was formed in July 2000 after Sue Ellen gave her friend Linda Murphy a Red Hat and a copy of the poem entitled "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, a poem which is about growing old and wearing purple.

Linda loved the gift so much that Sue Ellen began giving the gift to more friends. Soon a group of 20 ladies began wearing there attire in public, therefore starting the first Red Hat Society Chapter. Ever since that day Sue Ellen says "the growth and popularity of the Society has been a gradual, serendipitous thing." The group which originally started as two ladies, than 20 has grown like wildfire. In a matter of just three years over 12,800 chapters representing over 256,000 women have been formed in the US and around the world.

The philosophy of the organization according to Cooper is to "keep a sense of humor and to enjoy every phase of life, even old age which the Red Hatters have proven, can be good fun. Each official Red Hat Chapter is registered through the Society at a fee of $35 per year and consists of about 20-30- women age 50+. Sue Ellen was amazed and flattered when young women wanted to join as well so she established a different dress code for them consisting of Pink Hats instead of Red and Lavender clothing instead of Purple until they "come of age."

The coming of age party or "Coronation" is a Celebration in itself and often includes a Crown, Cake, Clappers and Kazoos. And although the members of each chapter share similar traits like age and attire there ideas and ways of expressing themselves are endless. Chapters like "The Brassy Belles," "Dazzling Divas" and the "Naughty Nanas." have dressed in full Red Hat attire and met at restaurants, tea rooms, theatres and on cruise ships. One group went to see an Elvis impersonator and threw purple panties on the stage, while another made their mark boarding a Double-Decker bus in London and waiving their Red Hats in a New Year's Day Parade. Regardless, they all have a marvelous time "acting their age"

Sue Ellen is thrilled that her idea has touched so many lives. Business began to boom when an article was written in a local paper a couple of years ago. The article was picked up by syndication and ran in almost every newspaper in the country. And then of course there was also a mention of the Society on the Today Show. The challenge now is to keep up with the demands of running a successful business.

Currently the Red Hat Society employees 6 people and up to this point she hasn't had to "actively searched for employees. They just seemed to come at the right times." Linda Murphy, the First Vice Mother and Sue Ellen were the first employees. Next came Sue Ellen's daughters sister-in-law who was looking for a part time job and then her husband of 35 years who left his career in the computers industry to take on the technical aspects of the business. Later she employed an operations manager and financial officer.

Although Sue Ellen is enjoying the sweet taste of success she is disappointed that she no longer has time to respond personally to each e-mail she receives. With several thousand e-mails coming in per week it is virtually impossible. However, Sue Ellen communicates to the masses via her Weekly Friday Broadcast, and Quarterly Newsletter entitled "Red Hatter Matters" In addition she plans a yearly Red Hatters Convention which allows her to meet and interact with members of chapters all over the country who get together in "sisterhood", once a year to kick up their heels for a fun filled five days.

The next convention will take place in Dallas Texas April 14-18, 2004. Many of the events planned include a Rodeo, BBQ, Pajama Breakfast and Formal Banquet. As always the dress code will be Red Hats and Purple clothing (if you're under 50 pink hats and lavender clothing ). The Queen Mother has asked guests to wear something lady-like for the afternoon tea, pajamas for the pajama breakfast, and formal or semi-formal attire for the Saturday night banquet, keeping in mind that "Gaudy Is Good!

In addition to the newsletter, broadcast, website and convention the Red Hat Society also has a retail shop in Fullerton , California and an on-line shop entitled the Red Hat Society Emporium which offers 100's of products ranging from hats, jewelry and handbags to note cards and luggage tags. Mass Merchandisers approach the Red Hat Society regularly to try and reach this niche market of women over 50+.

Recently The April Cornell Trading Company contacted The Red Hat Society and offered to create a line of clothing just for it's members. Headquarter was "delighted with their clothing line" because of it's "figure -flattering designs and durable, opulent fabrics." Many advertisers would give there eye teeth to reach this niche market via ads in her newsletter or on her website, however as the official "Queen Mother", Sue Ellen has a special bond based on trust with her members which she does not want broken. Any future plans to expand her business in these areas will need careful consideration. With over 42 million* women over 50 in just the US alone it's easy to forecast incredible growth all around in the years to come for the Red Hat Society.

When we asked Sue Ellen what she likes to do in her free time, she laughs and says "there is little of that these days. In fact I could work 24-7 if I allowed myself too," however, she makes a point to spend quality time with her family which consist of her husband and daughter who both work for the company and communication with her son who lives in New Zealand and works on the "Lord of the Rings" pictures. She wishes he was home to share her success and says "he really doesn't understand what the Red Hat Society is all about." She doesn't have any grandchildren as of yet but enjoys her dog Frosty and three cats . She walks daily and reads whenever she can find the time.

*U.S. Census Bureau Census 2000 Summary File 1

You can visit the Red Hat Society at or contact them at Red Hat Society 131 S. Acacia Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92831 or call (714) 728-0001

Taken from the "Tea-Time" Newsletter.

Rita Young Allen Teaching Credentials.....
Master of Science in Management Leadership (Healthcare Administration)
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Counseling, Emergency Management, Public Administration)
Executive Director & Marketing Director for two National Healthcare Corporations
Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Minor in Music Education
Associate of Arts in Vocal Performance
Music School Owner for 24 years
Performed at Carnegie Hall with Private Choirs, 6 years
Church Music Minister, 30+ years
Published Author, "The Sheaf Dreamer"
Columnist, 20+ years
President of Alabama National Speakers Association, 3 years
Public & Private School Teacher, 10 years (Choral & Drama)
Pageantry, Top Ten, National Competition of Ms. Senior America & Alabama State Director

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Rita Young Allen, Keynote Speaking Professional / Concert Soloist / Published Author / Emcee

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Concentration in Counseling) from Jacksonville State University.

Master of Science in Management Leadership (Healthcare Administration) from Troy University.

Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Minor in Music, from Jacksonville State University.

Associate of Science in Music Education, Vocal Performance

Snead State College, Gadsden State College, and Wallace State College.


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