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COLUMBIA CITY â€” They come in a sea of red and purple, filling restaurants, theaters and stores with their laughter and cheer.
The women of Old Bats in Red Hats, one of Columbia Cityâ€™s four chapters of the national Red Hat Society, come together for championship and fun.
Since it began in August of 2003, Old Bats in Red Hatsâ€™ membership has soared from approximately 20 to more than 40 women over the age of 50.
Jacqueline Hake started the group to draw new ladies to the Woodlands Senior Center, where she worked at the time.
â€śI thought that would be a unique and fun way to get new ladies to come in. It blossomed from there,â€ť she said.
Most Red Hat Society groups meet about once a month, but members of the Old Bats in Red Hats meet at least twice a month. Many members of the group have become good friends and meet much more often.
They have even taken vacations together. One group went on a cruise together to the eastern Caribbean. The group does not dance, although there is a red hat club that does perform in the Whitley County area.
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