LIBERTY — On Saturday, Nov. 2, the White and Blue Rooms at Liberty Community Center were a sea of red and purple thanks to several Red Hat Society groups from around the state.

Invited by the Red Hot Fillies of Liberty, groups came from Stockton, Kansas City, Belton and Excelsior Springs for a Las Vegas casino event that included a showgirl number from the Mad Madams, with members from Kearney, Liberty, Excelsior Springs and Kansas City-North.

Lori Gorham, queen of the Mad Madams, said their group has been together for 15 years and has a roster of about 30 members. On the average, 20 to 25 of them show up for outings.

The Mad Madams have been award winners at state fairs, showing off their musical and dance talents. They also won an award for a short film they made.

“We have so much fun,” Gorham said. “It’s a good group of ladies to be part of.”

According to the Red Hat Society, most women give their all to family, career and community.

“But, along the way, sometimes our existing bonds of friendship gradually diminish. Membership in the Red Hat Society is a rewarding vehicle for reconnecting old friends, making new friends and rediscovering the joy of getting together with other women for the express purpose of having fun,” states the society’s website. We whole-heartedly promote periods of recess from the cares and duties of everyday life in which Hatters gather for no other purpose than to play.”

The Belton Classy Ladybugs have been together for more than 10 years. The queen of that Red Hat Society group is Mary Reliford, who started the group when she lived in the Raymore-Peculiar area. She now lives in the Northland as does a couple other members.

“We are older ladies who want to do something and be part of something fun,” she said. “We all really have a lot in common.”

For the Red Hot Fillies, watching all the women enjoy themselves, winning raffles and playing games was a reward for their hard work.

Member Connie Alicie said the group has been planning the event for a year.

“We worked on finding or making all the different gifts,” she said. “The group made the name tags. It looks like a success.”

Member Fran Sears said they made 100 gifts.

“We aim for the best,” she said.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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