Fantasia in Red celebrates 13 years with outgoing Queen

Pictured (l to r): Tenn. Rep. Brenda Gilmore and outgoing Queen Lois Winston. (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

Pictured (l to r): Tenn. Rep. Brenda Gilmore and outgoing Queen Lois Winston. (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

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Recently the Fantasia in Red Chapter of the Red Hat Society (Hatters) celebrated 13 years of success. The event was held at the Herman St. Goodwill Career Solutions conference center. A sea of beautiful purple and red enveloped the vast room at the luncheon meet and greet, hosted by Tennessee state Rep. Brenda Gilmore. It was all in honor of the outgoing Queen and paving the way for coronation of the new chapter Queen.

The event was appropriately themed ‘Red Hattitude – Thank You for Being a Friend Program, Fantasia in Red 2002 to 2017.’ The anniversary celebration and reveal was dedicated to a special friend and loyal Red Hatter Queen Lois Winston. Rep. Gilmore and her effective team ran the event from start to finish like a well-oiled machine without a hitch. Speaking of which, Rep. Gilmore is certainly not just another pretty face. The statuesque legislator put the ‘e’ in elbow grease. She doesn’t ask anyone to do anything she isn’t willing to do herself, including picking up individual, disconnected Boa feathers and any debris that was dropped during the excitement of the program.

The afternoon began with introducing the now ‘Queen of One,’ Queen Mother Lois Winston. She entered the room with her own theme music, ‘Dancing Queen,’ by the group ABBA and the 80-plus-year-old woman’s dance moves could easily put a younger woman to shame. Former Chapter member Jimmie Hill did the honors of introducing her highness who gave remarks and skillfully danced out of the spotlight the way she danced into it—with allure, dignity, grace and joyful poise.

Ms. Jimmie also blessed the food: a delicious well rounded meal, which was catered and served by Carolyn Simmons and company of ‘Carolyn’s Home-style Catering.’ Lunch was then served by former members taking a few minutes to tell what Fantasia in Red meant to each of them.

The ‘hostess with the mostess,’ Rep. Gilmore, took the microphone and spoke on ‘Thank You Queen Mother for 15 Years of Fun and Frivolity.’ The words to the theme song from the hit TV sitcom The Golden Girls were used (“Thank you for being a friend”). It was cheerfully led by member Stephanie Juste and sung in unison by luncheon attendees.

Once again Queen Mother Lois Winston capitalized on a grand entrance, with more dancing pizzazz. She wrapped up a successful and delightfully fun day by adding her thanks and recognizing those who attended, expounding on those who supported the event as guests to the confirmed members and the women who traveled miles to get to the lavish play date disguised as a luncheon. Gilmore recruited some assistance in passing out gift bags and surprise gifts, including: a ‘Brim Brush’ (for when the brims of hats touch or brush against each other). A special salute to all ‘Queens’ and ‘Vice Queens’ in the room was given by the now former Queen and Queen of One: Queen Mother Lois Winston.

Remarks, kudos and thanks to all who made the event possible and simply fun were granted and the sea of purple and red gleaned through the building to the parking lot.

The chosen colors of the Red Hat Society are purple and red. They were not chosen by chance and the significance itself is invaluable. Red is an outgoing powerful but joyous color and purple is the earmark of royalty. Hence the women being recognized as Queens are tied to all things royal and regal. Nationwide and in select countries, women ages 50 and up come together to cherish and to celebrate life in a festive way. Women under 50 are known as Pink Hatters. They sport pink hats and generally the color lavender is replaced by the stronger purple.

The website tag line best describes the organization’s mission: “The Red Hat Society is a playgroup for women created to connect like-minded women, to make new friends and to enrich lives through the power of fun and friendship.”

It’s all about the hat, and the ‘hattitude’ of the woman with this fantastic group and their sisterhood.

They pride themselves on positive change and reinforcement.

“Our crowns have been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear them” — James Baldwin, author.

For additional information or to keep in touch, check out their social media: Facebook, Twitter, Insta-gram and Pinterest or see the RHS official website. .