The only rules are you have to be a woman and at least 50 years old.

But it helps if you have a little attitude, and a generous nature.

You may have heard of the Red Hat Society – a social organization known by the red felt hats that its members often wear.

Well, this is a spin-off group that calls itself the Red Hat Ruby Hattitudes.

The 15 or so women get together frequently for lunch or a game of cards and they meet formally once a month, often at the South Portland home of Bev Sowerby. Yes, there are red hats, but the head gear is purely a personal choice. At their monthly meetings, they socialize some more and do good works, such as making blankets for hospital patients or providing socks to residents of a local nursing home.

“We’ve got something going all the time,” Sowerby said.

In addition to the service projects, the Hattitudes also make charitable donations. It was the recent $50 donation to the Press Herald Toy Fund from the group with a funny name that caught our attention and led us to investigate.

The members simply took a vote and agreed to send the check to help make sure children in southern Maine don’t go without gifts at the holidays.

Hats off to them.

• THE PRESS HERALD TOY FUND in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts uses donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents. Now in its 70th year, the fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

• DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made at or by writing checks to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund and mailing them to the fund at P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112.

• FOR MORE INFORMATION, call 791-6672 or go to:


David & Sandra Michniewicz  $50
Jim & Janet Bither  $100
In loving memory of Leslie & Belinda Gray  $25
In loving memory of Iola & Raymond Leavitt  $25
In memory of Robert Pettengill  $50
In memory of Bill & Alice Amero  $40
In memory of Janice & Jim Owen  $50
In memory of Paul White  $100
James MacMahon  $50
Michael Curci  $60
In memory of my parents, Francis & Dot, from Eleanor  $40
In honor of our 10 great grandchildren  $75
In memory of my mother, Frances Stearns Davis  $50
Frank Harrison  $15
Marcia Blake  $50
Nancy Barber  $50
Benjamin Soule  $50
In memory of Linda Jellerson  $50
Chriss & Alan Willemsen  $50
Blessings, The Robinsons  $25
Merry Christmas! Love, C.D.D.B.&F
In memory of Eddie & Eddie Jr  $50
In loving memory of Grandma Dot from the Irish family  $100
In memory of my mother, Dorothy  $40
Paul & Stephanie Castle  $50
Anonymous  $50
Anonymous  $20
In honor of our granddaughter Beatrice, From Nana & Pops  $200
Anonymos  $100
Hope this brings smiles this holiday season!  $100
Brayden & Owen Bishop  $50
Carol & Jack Flynn  $50
Merry Christmas to all! Judy & Jeff Kane  $250
Cliff & Sherry Colville  $100
Year to date: $52,346.50

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