Lunchettes aiming for fun over age 50

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By Erin Melwing

News Intern

Known by their characteristic red hats everywhere they go, the Henry County Red Hat Lunchettes are determined to have fun over age 50.

“We meet and eat,” Judy Stivers, a member of five years from Shelbyville, said.

The Lunchettes meet the third Wednesday of every month and go to different restaurants or tea houses for lunch. The Lunchettes usually decide their next destination through suggestions from members or from their Queen Mother, Mildred Elston.

This month, they went to Scriber’s Station on Elm in Eminence. They went to the Depot in Pleasureville last month and have been to the Serendipity Tea Room in La Grange and the Sisters Tea Room in Buckner in months past.

“It just got me out of the house and back into a social activity,” Pat Case, a member of three years from Eminence, said. “I kind of had to retire earlier than I had planned and I was sick for a while and I just got in a pattern of staying home. My friend Judy talked me into this and it just got me out of the house and out with other ladies, some of them I had never known before and had me going to some places I had never been before. It gives me something to look forward to.”

Since the Lunchettes only meet once a month, they always have a lot of gossip and other things to catch up on.

“We talk about anything, what we’ve been doing and what our plans are,” Elston said.

In essence, the requirements set by the society to be a member are simple. Women seeking membership must be over age 50 in order to don a red hat and purple outfit. Women under age 50 can wear a pink hat with a lavender outfit. The Lunchettes also stress the necessity to love to talk and eat as well.

“Anybody who wants to have fun, dress in purple and wear a red hat should join,” Stivers said.

Members pick their own hats, therefore personalities shine through their hat selection. However, some of the hats are tacky, according to JoAnn McAlister, a member of three years from Pleasureville.

“Well if you’re a gaudy type person like I am, the gaudier hat the better,” Elston said.

“I try to have the biggest, most flamboyant hat there is,” Case said. “I’ll get a red hat from Wal-Mart and add some stuff on it and get it kind of outrageous.”

Sometimes, however, one hat just is not enough.

“I have six or seven hats. I think they’re pretty,” McAlister said. “Believe it or not, I got them all at Wal-Mart.”

There currently are about 12 Lunchettes that routinely attend every month and they have been meeting for about the last five years.

“It’s just caring about others,” Elston said. “We have a good time. We meet and eat and have fun.”

To join, ask any Red Hat member or visit www.redhatsociety.com.

E-mail us about this article at editor@hclocal.com.