SPRING HILL — The Blue Thong Society? The women-only social and philanthropic organization’s logo looks a bit provocative — a close-up of a female torso with a blue, plunging polka-dot panty.
At least that’s what men usually think.
Women, however, notice that it actually is an image of a flip-flop on a women’s foot.
Either way, the name, and the logo accomplish the task of getting attention, said Jan Davis, coordinator of the new Hernando County chapter of the national organization, which espouses “good fun, good friends and good works.”
“People aren’t sure what to think when they first hear about us,” said Davis, who started the local chapter, called the Blue Gems. It’s only about a half-dozen strong so far, but already the chapter is helping the Hernando County community, donating pet food and supplies to the local Humane Society and providing support for the Dawn Center, a Spring Hill-area women’s shelter.
The Blue Gems are a social group, with monthly meetings where women 21 and older hang out, discuss their lives, families and work, but they also tend to the business of helping others, the central mission that binds the group to their community. As the group grows, it plans to branch into helping veterans organizations.
“That’s something we want to do as part of our core support,” said Davis, who was a member of the Brandon chapter of the Blue Thong before moving to Brooksville a couple of years ago. “But it’s not just about helping the community; it’s also about friends.”
That duality checked both boxes for Lydia Colone, a local resident who joined the Blue Gems to meet people and do something to help the community during her spare time.
“I’m retired and I was looking for activities,” said Colone.
She met Davis during a Meet-Up she found on the web. She learned about the Blue Gems helping the women’s shelter and knew she’d found what she was looking for—a group that fulfills her desire for socializing and helping.
“I have the time and needed something to do, and it warms my heart to help out,” said Colone. “I also wanted to meet people.”
The Blue Gems have a one time, lifetime $39 membership fee. The group has no political, religious or business affiliations, and involvement and discussion in any of those areas is avoided when the group meets.
It’s more likely someone talks about something fun they did, family news or maybe a problem at work, said Davis. There are no meeting minutes, no treasury report and no Robert’s Rules.
There is an empowerment aspect to the Blue Thongs, one driven by a philosophy of “fighting frump.” It encourages members to “be stylish, sassy, hip, edgy and to maintain a youthful spirit, embrace milestones, be cool, fun-loving and be sympathetic to others,” according to the mother group’s website at www.bluethongsociety.com. It also encourages drinking blue martinis.
So, what’s with all the blue? According to the website, lore links the color to “emotions such as sympathy, harmony, friendship and loyalty. These emotions belong to features that are permanent and reliable such as composure, mutual understanding and unshakeable trust.”
The Blue Gems meet at different restaurants after work hours on the first Monday of the month. The next meeting is Jan. 7 at Cheddar’s, on Cortez Boulevard. Anyone interested should call Davis at 813-215-3415 to ensure a large enough table is reserved.
“I’m hoping word of mouth will bring us new members,” said Davis, who said it is rewarding to watch the local chapter develop its own character.
“As we grow, we take on the personality of the people in the group,” she said.