Hip Hatters eat, drink and give back | RecordCourier.com

Hip Hatters eat, drink and give back

by Caryn Haller

Along with being a social group, the Hip Hatters of Carson Valley also enjoy giving back to the community.

On Dec. 21, the ladies donated food, gift cards and toys to Austin’s House as one of their annual projects.

“We don’t just sit around and eat and drink. It makes you feel good to give back, and it’s something I believe in personally,” Queen Irene Engelhardt said. “I feel that everybody, if they’re capable, should help those who need help.”

As part of the national Red Hat Society, the Hip Hatters was formed in 2003 by Annett Garrison.

The only qualification for membership is that a red hat and something purple be worn, and that members be at least 50 years old. Those younger than 50 are Pink Hatters.

The members meet once a month for lunch and decide what charity they will support next. To raise money they hold a raffle with half the proceeds going to the group.

Last year, they provided school supplies to teachers, supported the backpack buddies program, donated to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet and sent cookies to troops overseas.

Vicky Hargrove has been a member since 2004, but wanted to join before then.

“I saw some Red Hat ladies doing something in California and wanted to join, but they were all full,” she said. “When I moved here I saw the Red Hat ladies in the Nevada Day parade in 2003 and told my husband, ‘I want to do that.'”

Hargrove has been a member ever since and served as queen for two years.

“It’s fun,” she said. “I love going out to eat and having a cocktail.”

The Red Hat Society was founded in 1998 by Sue Ellen Cooper. It has more than 20,000 chapters in the United States and more than 25 foreign countries.

The Hip Hatters of Carson Valley chapter is currently full, but for more information call Engelhardt at 267-9213.