Red Hatters buy clothes for kids

BUCKHANNON — A local group of women recently passed around the hat — one might say the red hat — to collect money to purchase clothing for kids who become sick while at school.

The Bodacious Babes chapter of the Red Hat Society – an international social group for women 50 and older – donated $200 worth of clothes to Buckhannon Academy School Wednesday.

“We had a pool of money, about $200, so we thought we would use it for some good,” project organizer and Red Hat Society member Penny Haymond said Wednesday, as the club prepared to hand the clothes over to assistant principal Shannon Lewis. “We thought we would buy clothing for young children who get sick or have an accident at school. This way, they will have something to change into.”

Haymond said there was previously a pool of money in the school system used for that purpose that is no longer there.

“This is our second altruistic project, and we’re just trying to fill that void,” Haymond said. “We hit after Christmas sales, and Walmart gave us a $25 gift certificate, so we were able to buy over a dozen outfits for boys and girls, as well as socks and underwear.”

Thanks to Walmart’s help, Haymond said the group was able to purchase more than two shopping bags full of clothing.

The Bodacious Babes aren’t primarily a service organization; usually, they simply meet “just to have fun and meet and greet,” Haymond added.

“We get together, we have dinner, we have lunches, we go to see the Festival of Lights (in Wheeling), we go to the Asylum in Weston,” she said. “We just like to get together once a month and enjoy each other’s company, and this time we were able to do some good.”

The Red Hat Society derives its name from a poem, “Warning,” which begins, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me,” according to the organization’s website.

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