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New Person in New Place to Volunteer Woman of the Year

August 3, 2011

Johnette Johnson - Strong WomenMY EHC STORY

By Johnette Johnson

Mt. Ida, Arkansas (Montgomery County)

          I worked for 35 years in Sales & Marketing for a national company located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  I retired 11 Years ago and moved with my husband to Mount Ida, Arkansas.  My husband was retired and had spent three years building us a house in Mount Ida.  He knew he would love the Mount Ida area because of being so close to Lake Ouachita and he had lots of fishing buddies who already lived there.  However, he was worried that I wouldn’t be satisfied living there as I wouldn’t know anyone or have anything to do. 

             Since I had always wanted to learn how to quilt, but having a full time job and three boys to raise, I just didn’t have the time.   So, the first thing I did when I got moved to Mount Ida was try to find some ladies who quilted so I could learn how.  I found a group of the sweetest ladies in the world who quilted “Quilting Bee” style from 9 AM to 3 PM every Monday.  These ladies had quilted together for 20 years and were soon teaching me everything I needed to know.  Also, they began telling me that I needed to join their EHC Club as it went hand in hand with their quilting club.  I joined and first thing I knew it was time for new officers and they elected me President.  They explained that the new person always got elected as they had all been President before, some of them two or three times.  I enjoyed EHC so much, especially the community projects they all helped with which helped the community and helped underprivileged people and children.  So after a couple of years as President of the Club, I was elected Vice President of the Montgomery County Extension Homemakers Council.  I jumped right in and helped the President as much as I could and learned a whole lot more about Extension Homemakers.  After two years as Vice President, I became President and spent six years doing as much as I could to find new ways EHC could help the people of our community and new ways EHC could become an outstanding organization in our county.

            I also attended a certification program for the Strong Women Program so that I could become an instructor.  Strong Women is an EHC Program in Arkansas to help ladies be active as they reach their senior years.  We have seven groups in Montgomery County and my group meets at the Lake Ouachita Baptist Church Family Life Center twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, at 8:30 AM.  I have been an instructor for approximately 5 years and have loved doing it. 

            I am so proud to be a part of an organization which does so much to help those who do not have enough money to enjoy the same kind of life most of us have.  EHC also does so much for our communities with projects such as the County Fair,  Operation Santa Claus (which helps children have a better Christmas), the Back to School Supplies Program, the Single Parent Scholarship Program, the County Food Pantry and Strong Women Exercise Program for Senior Women.   EHC has also done so much for me.  It provided a way I could become acquainted in a new community and provided me with more friends than I can count.  These friends are some of the sweetest and greatest people I have ever met.  EHC also provided a way I could help people in need and I could feel I was doing something worthwhile during my retirement.  

            In 2008 I was elected Mt. Ida Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Woman of the year for my work with EHC and in 2010 I was elected as Secretary for the AEHC Executive Committee and the State Meeting Planning Committee. My husband is not worried any longer about me not having anything to do in Mt. Ida.

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