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August 30, 2011

By Eva Marie Pearson, AEHC Publicity Chairman
Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration work in Arkansas is approaching a milestone — 100  years in 2012.  The ideas offered here are only suggestions to get you thinking about ways in which you can celebrate the centennial in your local communities. Some of them require no money, and little time and effort. Others are quite elaborate.
No. 43, the traveling exhibit, is ready to use. There are four of them — all the same design — It can be reserved by emailing Betty Oliver at . If you have an event where a lot of people will be gathered, it is an excellent way to promote Extension Homemakers.  Lots of counties will be using them at their county fairs. That’s just a single example of where they can be displayed.
No. 57, the blog, is up and running. And if you are reading this, you are visiting the blog. Stay and read the stories of Extension Homemakers and add your own comments and your story about how you became interested in Extension Homemakers.

The ideas for celebrating this centennial are limitless. Please use every opportunity to promote the fact that Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration work in Arkansas has been around for 100 years and is still going strong.  Some of the ideas I have presented here are from project book winners honored at this year’s state meeting.

1.  Design a centennial celebration logo.
2.  Create a giant birthday cake featuring the centennial log and invite the community and media to share it.
3.  Coordinate with the county judge and mayors in your county to acknowledge Extension Homemakers 100th Anniversary. Publicize the proclamations in available media.
4.  Publish a newspaper supplement highlighting state and local Extension Homemakers stories. Profile members, local projects and those who have benefited from Extension Homemakers projects.   List club members and their occupations in the community.
5.  Organize an Extension Homemakers 100th Birthday Party and invite at-risk children and youth as the key guests.
6.  Order place mats and napkins with the centennial logo on them. Use them for club meetings or special events throughout the year.
7.  Collect pennies or the equivalent in other countries over the course of the year with the proceeds going to Pennies for Friendship.
8.  Create an Extension Homemakers speakers bureau where members speak at the library, Chamber of Commerce, civic clubs, women’s groups and other appropriate organizations and schools on the value of volunteerism and use project examples from Extension Homemakers Century of Service.
9.  Give a scholarship to a Family and Consumer Sciences major from your county.
10.  Publish a cookbook and/or host a cooking demonstration featuring 100 recipes from Extension Homemakers in the area. With each recipe have the contributor share what Extension Homemakers has meant to him or her.
11.  Develop a display for use at appropriate venues such as the local library, historical society or museum, featuring local and state Extension Homemakers projects throughout the century as examples of service.
12.  Write an article or commission advertising in community or university school newspapers highlighting what Extension Homemakers has accomplished locally and statewide in the past century and why Extension Homemakers remains relevant today.
13.  Hold a centennial candlelight ceremony where each candle represents an Extension Homemakers year, Extension Homemakers club or service project . State what each candle represents when lighting it.
14.  Build a Habitat for Humanity house.
15.  Furnish a room in a women’s shelter.
16.  Adopt a needy family for a year, a month or a special holiday.
17.  Provide a 4-H camp scholarship.
18.  Sponsor a hands-on canning workshop.
19.  Hold a style show, circa 1912.
20.  Hold a luncheon, circa 1912.
21.  Hold a meeting, circa 1912.
22.  Request a copy of Arkansauce by sending an email to Diane F. Worrell at
23.  Provide child care during group therapy sessions at a women’s shelter.
24.  Hold a homecoming event for all present and former Extension Homemakers members.
25.  Present a hands-on food workshop.
26.  Present a hands-on crafts workshop.
27.  Speak to women’s, civic or other organizations about the contributions of Extension Homemakers to the local community.
28.  Hold a centennial progressive dinner, where the dinner changes locations and features highlights of Extension Homemakers history at each new location.
29.  Conduct a centennial workshop or seminar focused on volunteerism. Invite representatives from community groups and make them aware of the resources available from Extension Homemakers. Offer tips and ideas about project development, management and networking. Invite an inspiring speaker to encourage those who voluntarily serve others.
30.  Hold an Extension Homemakers information booth/table at a festival or public gathering. Offer centennial baked goods for sale to raise money for a project and share the Extension Homemakers story with anyone who comes along.
31.  Hold an Extension Homemakers flu inoculation day and encourage those most vulnerable to participate.
32.  Sponsor a Day at the Races (horse or dog), where one of the races is named in honor of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council.
33.  Use the Extension Homemakers and University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture logos on promotional items.
34.  Identify and honor the top 100 volunteers in your community. For nominations, consult with other
service and civic organizations, schools, hospitals and agencies that use volunteer. Contact the media to cover the honored volunteers and their stories of volunteerism.
35.  Hold a Hula-Hoop, Yo-Yo or other funny competition to see who can reach 100 turns, 100 seconds or similar without making a mistake. Award prizes. Contact the media for photo opportunities.
36.  Commission a limited-edition sculpture, painting or sketch by a local artist depicting the ideas of education, leadership and service. Auction the piece for funds to support a local project or present it to a local museum or arts center.
37.  Create a Happy Birthday Extension Homemakers card and use it for correspondence within the organization and to outside organizations.
38.  Organize a 100 th anniversary round robin letter or chain email to all the Extension Homemakers in your club, council or district, where they explain why they joined Extension Homemakers and what it has meant to them.
39.  Knit, crochet or otherwise make 100 sets of mittens, scarves or socks to be given away as part of a community service project.
40.  Create a photography exhibit of Extension Homemakers in Action. Use either existing photos or have a photographer take quality images of Extension Homemakers working on a local community or state project. Create an exhibit using the photos for display at the local library, civic center or similar location.
41.  Write a letter to the editor or opinion piece on 100 Reasons to Volunteer. Include highlights of Extension Homemakers Century of Service. Send it to your local paper.
42.  Write a song celebrating the centennial.
43.  Create exhibits featuring the history of Extension Homemakers work to circulate throughout the state.
44.  Collect vintage memorabilia from your county and preserve it in a scrapbook that is displayed at local events during the 100-year celebration.
45.  Participate in the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council’s Oral History Project.
46.  Create a store front exhibit, emphasizing 100 years of Extension Homemakers.
47.  Plant a plot using heritage seeds and plants.
48.  Create a license plate for Extension Homemakers.
49.  Adopt a nursing home resident for a holiday like Mother’s Day.
50.  Conduct a local poster or essay contest promoting volunteerism in conjunction with the Extension Homemakers Centennial
51.  Plant a grove of 100 trees to protect the environment and provide sanctuary and a place of solitude for others. Name it Extension Homemakers Centennial Grove or a similar name.
52.  Conduct a public access or cable television program on the history of Extension Homemakers in Arkansas and supplement it with information about local Extension Homemakers history and projects.
53.  Hold a pancake breakfast using the Extension Homemakers Centennial as the theme.
54.  Conduct an Extension Homemakers Centennial dessert competition with bakeries and restaurants in your area.
55.  Create an Extension Homemakers quilt, honoring 100 years of Extension Homemakers service.
56.  Create an Extension Homemakers rose garden or similar for the entire community to enjoy.
57.  Create a blog, so Extension Homemakers can share with each other.
58.  Have a local school group create and perform a skit regarding the first Home Demonstration (now Extension Homemakers) Club meeting. Invite the students to perform this at various Extension Homemakers meetings and publicize the play to the local media.
59.  Ask each Extension Homemakers members to share memories of her time in the organization. Set aside a time at each club meeting during the Centennial celebration to share them.
60.  Host a Chamber of Commerce coffee, with invitations issued to business leaders and Extension Homemakers. Booklets or handouts could be provided for all the recipes for the foods served. Pictures, news articles and other memorabilia could be displayed to show the history of Extension Homemakers during the past 100 years. City leaders and past Extension Homemakers Council presidents could be asked to say a few words about the history and the achievements of Extension Homemakers.
61.  Select a county liaison for the state Centennial Committee.
62.  In cooperation with your local paper or on the Extension Homemakers blog, list 100 Simple Acts of Kindness that a person can do throughout the day to bring more joy into the world. Include such things as: Opening a door for someone; Saying ”thank-you; Smiling at someone; Giving a generous tip, etc.
63.  Distribute the pictures of past and current Extension Homemakers officers and have a contest to determine who is the “most photogenic.” Highlight the accomplishments of that officer’s year at a future meeting.
64.  Invite the county council’s first male Extension Homemakers member to share his perspective on the History of Extension Homemakers and Extension Homemakers today.
65.  As part of a local community project, plant a centennial vegetable garden. Include 100 plants each of various varieties or arrange the vegetables in such a manner that they would resemble a 100.
66.  Conduct a tasting at the local farmer’s market, sharing ways in which local produce can be used. Distribute recipes of the dishes served. 67.  Hold a recipe contest promoting a local produce such as sweet potatoes.
68.  Send a box of goodies to the military stationed overseas.
69.  For a holiday, send a packet of cards, signed by Extension Homemakers to the military stationed overseas.
70.  Conduct a series of vintage crafts classes in conjunction with an historical museum or historic site.
71.  Organize a new Extension Homemakers Club and designate it as a Centennial Club.
72.  Attend the 2012 meeting of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council to celebrate the Centennial.
73.  Create bumper stickers with the Centennial logo.
74.  Create buttons that say, “Ask me about Extension Homemakers.”
75.  Participate in a local Relay for Life.
76.  Participate in the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure.
77.  Organize a Christmas ornament workshop for community children. Provide the materials for making ornaments for them to take home and serve snacks.
78.  Sponsor a display in a holiday lighting display.
79.  Place children’s clothing in a variety of sizes and toiletries in totes and provide them for youngsters who may be taken from their homes in emergency situations.
80.  Present an education program on a local commodity for a Head Start or kindergarten class. Teach them how and where we get the product and serve them a recipe prepared with it.
81.  Hold a baby shower and give the proceeds to a maternity center.
82.  Make 100 walker bags and distribute them to nursing homes, senior centers, etc., in your county.
83.  Sponsor a Summer Feeding Program for Children to help families who would not have adequate food when school is not in session.
84.  Fill 100 backpacks with school supplies for children who will not have the necessary supplies for school.
85.  Sponsor a series of sewing workshops for the community.
86.  Sponsor a seminar that raises the awareness of Internet fraud, scams and identity theft.
87.  Provide special remembrances for military families left at home – gifts, an outing to a park, museum or movie, a meal at a restaurant, etc.
88.  Contribute 100 cans or pounds of nonperishable food to a food bank.
89.  Make angel wraps, infant demise kits, and donate to local hospitals.
90.  Make hand rolls and give to local nursing homes and senior centers. 91.  Sponsor a clean-up day in local neighborhoods.
92.  Sponsor an AARP Driver Safety Program for drivers 50 and older.
93.  Make 100 teaching dolls for use by local hospitals or the Arkansas Children’s Hospital at Little Rock.
94.  Create Boppy Pillows for new mothers to lay their babies on as they nurse in an attempt to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers.
95.  Make a cash contribution to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or another local charity.
96.  Prepare comfort kits for distribution by local shelters, hospitals or the Red Cross.
97.  Print and distribute Medicine List cards for wallets and purses.
98.  Participate in your local and district fairs by entering one or more of the home economics categories.
99.  Create and send quilts to wounded military members.
100.  Make plastic sleep mats for the homeless.
101.  Adopt a local family who has a child in a hospital.
102.  Donate items to a local thrift shop.

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